Matlock: MBE and museum owner left “sickened” by thefts of horsing equipment belonging to late father

Caroline Dale-Leech was left "sickened" by the thefts
Caroline Dale-Leech was left "sickened" by the thefts
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The owner of the Red House coaching museum in Matlock has spoken of her “shock and disappointment” after thousands of pounds worth of horsing equipment was stolen from her, some of which belonged to her late father.

Caroline Dale-Leech was left devastated when the items were swiped from the Old Road property this morning (Tuesday, July 26), some time between 5.30am and 6am.

The coaching museum and stables, which is also a bed and breakfast, has been providing vintage carriage rides in the region for years, and the equipment is needed in order for Caroline and her staff to work.

Some of the equipment dates back to the 1930s and belonged to Caroline’s father, William Smith, who set up the museum in 1946 before Caroline took over.

Caroline, an MBE and British Driving Society Council Member, said: “I feel shocked, disappointed and utterly sickened by what has happened.

“This morning, we have been left unable to work as we simply do not have any equipment to work with.

“It’s a good job we didn’t have a wedding to attend with one our carriages today or, even worse, a funeral.”

“The place where the equipment was kept was fitted with all the correct security and alarm systems but when thieves are determined, they are determined.

“It looks there had been some sort of mad trolley dash in there. They would have had to have been quick to get everything out.”

A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: “Anyone with information should contact us on 101, quoting reference number 160002088767.”