Aldeburgh: Statue of much loved pooch Snooks returned after being stolen 10 years ago
A MUCH loved statue of a popular pooch has returned home - almost 10 years after it was stolen from its seafront residence.
People in Aldeburgh were left outraged when the bronze memorial of doctor’s dog Snooks mysteriously disappeared from next to the model yacht pond in February 2003.
Such was the upset that the 2ft statue was replaced by an exact replica after a generous fundraising effort from members of the public.
But yesterday the original - first unveiled in 1961 - was returned home by antiques dealer John O’Connor, who bought it at a fair in Lincoln.
The 62-year-old, of Hawkedon, near Bury St Edmunds, who runs Bygone Days, said: “Before we left I decided to have a look if there was anything we could buy and I discovered the statue of the dog.
“When I took it home and cleaned it up we noticed the name on the collar. My partner, Sonja, did some research on the internet and we came across all sorts of articles.
“When we learnt what happened we contacted the town council and I was only too happy to bring it back.”
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The statue of Snooks was originally installed in honour to his owner, Dr Robin Acheson, who cared for the community from 1931 to 1959.
His wife, Nora, was also a doctor and her name was added to the memorial following her death in 1981.
Snooks, who would follow his master as he made his calls and became a familiar sight around the town, got his name because the family used to eat tinned snook from Africa during the war.
Ruth Proctor, clerk to Aldeburgh Town Council, said: “It is wonderful to have the statue back. There was such outrage and disappointment when it was originally stolen. It was very much loved. Its nose had rubbed away where people kept patting it - that was indicative of how precious it was.”
Mayor Peter Cox echoed her comments, thanking Mr O’Connor for returning the statue and saying they would find a new home for it in due course.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk police confirmed officers are looking into the circumstances around the statue’s recovery to see if there are any lines of enquiry that can be followed to trace the original thief.