Thieves steal golden cockerel from Cupar Burgh Chambers roof

The golden cockerel weather vane that sat on the roof of the Burgh Chambers building. Picture: Contributed
The golden cockerel weather vane that sat on the roof of the Burgh Chambers building. Picture: Contributed
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Thieves have snatched a golden cockerel from the roof of a town’s historic Burgh Chambers.

Contractors working on the refurbishment of the landmark in Cupar, Fife, noticed on Thursday that the gold-leaf coated weather vane, which has sat on top of the building for nearly 200 years, had gone

The weather vane fitted following reburbishment. Picture: Contributed

The weather vane fitted following reburbishment. Picture: Contributed

The culprits are thought to have scaled scaffolding used by workmen to take the golden bird.

Lynn Watt, a director of joinery firm John Smart & Son, which was carrying out the refurbishment work, suggested that the thieves may have thought the item to have been more valuable, as it had just been touched up with new gold leaf.

She told a local paper: “We were starting to withdraw the scaffolding a level so we could work further down the dome.

“A worker said that he thought something was missing and that’s when we found out it had gone.

“I don’t know if they thought it was worth a fortune, but it’s just covered in gold leaf.

“It will have historical significance for people in the town though and they will be up in arms.”

The weather vane is thought to have been erected in 1823, eight years after the construction of the Burgh Chambers.

Proudly perched upon the building’s distinctive dome, which used to house the sheriff court, the cockerel was restored to its traditional place as part of work to transform the complex into holiday apartments.

External work at the site began earlier this year as part of a complete overhaul of the complex, which will see its distinctive pink paint removed and original stonework restored.

Police are now investigating the theft with a spokesperson saying: “Police in Fife are investigating following reports of theft of a weather vane from the town hall building in Cupar.

“Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Cupar Police station on 101, quoting incident reference 1472 of 6 September.”