A DESPERATE appeal for help was issued by Grayshott Stagers after costumes and props worth around £1,000 were stolen from their store shed behind the village hall.

Hampshire Police issued an appeal for witnesses after the shed was broken into sometime between midnight and 2pm, on January 7.

It was the second time the props store had been targeted in six weeks and items taken included 25 original telephones, including two valuable ‘candlestick’ telephones, and 50 military and police uniforms.

Grayshott Stagers’ chairman Laura Musco said: “We are devastated by the second break-in at our scenery/costume shed in six weeks.

“The first break-in occurred mid-November and members are wondering if the gang that ‘visited’ them realised there was more to be had so made a return trip.

“The total haul is something like 50 military and police uniforms; all our furs – not all real, but good costume wear; a lot of ladies evening and day dresses; top hats; bowler hats; two vintage typewriters; a large box of costume jewellery; about 25 vintage telephones, including two valuable candlestick telephones; several gas masks; a pair of binoculars; several cameras from different eras; silver tea sets and jugs; goblets and tankards; decanters and glasses; a white mantle clock – and even a box of household items, including feather dusters.

“Grayshott Stagers would like to hear from anyone who might be able to help them replace the lost items.

“If anyone is thinking of taking something to a charity shop, or the local dump, wee would appreciate it if you added them into your considerations.

“We would love to hear from you if you have anything that you think might help replenish our costumes and props and would like to thank all the amateur dramatics societies that have offered their help in providing costumes and props for future productions.”

You can call the group on 07717 211762,

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: “We are appealing for information after theatrical costumes were stolen in a burglary at Grayshott Village Hall.

“We are especially keen to hear from any other amateur dramatics groups or military stores that are offered any items which they believe may have been stolen.”

Anyone who saw anything suspicious should call Pc Kirsty Westropp at Alton Police Station on 101,

Information can also be left online on the online form at www.hamp shire. police.uk – you can also call Crimestoppers free on 0800 555111 where information can be left anonymously.

•The long-established Grayshott Stagers, who boast Vanessa Redgrave as an honorary patron, staged their first production in 1951, although amateur dramatics have been performed in the village since before the First World War.

The group has pledged the show will go on and tickets are now on sale for its next production of three one-act plays, on February 17 and 18.

Ironically, it’s next major production, is the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, from May 24-27.