FIVE sets of historical mayoral chains and badges from the former Bowland, Clitheroe and Blackburn rural district councils have been stolen.

Ribble Valley Council's chief executive, Marshal Scott, confirmed thieves broke into the Ribble Valley Civic Suite in Church Street, Clitheroe, during the early hours of Monday and stole the items, crafted from silver and enamelled gilt.

These items have the following marks: Bowland Rural District Council – 66gram and 74gram badges engraved ‘I will lift up mine eyes’ and hallmarked 1966 London S&S Ltd.

There is a 214g chain hallmarked 1961 London S&S Ltd; Rural District Council of Clitheroe – 146g badge engraved ‘Nostrum Est Rura Tueri’ and 270g chain hallmarked 1958 London S&S Ltd.

There is a Rural District Council of Blackburn – 102g badge engraved ‘Serva Fidem’ and 350g chain hallmarked 1954 London EB; and 270g badge and chain engraved ‘This regalia was presented in 1965 for the use of the Chairman’s Lady’ and hallmarked 1965 Birmingham Thomas Fatorrini.

Mr Scott said: "The thieves smashed display cases and took five sets of mayoral chains and badges of office from the former Bowland, Clitheroe and Blackburn Rural District Councils.

"The items have a combined value of £15,250, but their historic value is significantly more and this theft constitutes the loss of important and unique civic artefacts."

A council spokesman said officers are investigating the theft and are looking at CCTV footage from the civic suite.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 101 and quote LC-20190610-0408.