Van filled with history re-enactor’s swords, spears and artefacts stolen from outside Northampton home

Steve Parish had his van stolen. He had historical costumes and artefects in it for his history work at schools.
Steve Parish had his van stolen. He had historical costumes and artefects in it for his history work at schools.

A SPECIALLY-adapted van, filled with irreplaceable historical items, including swords and spears, has been stolen from outside an actor’s Northampton home.

Thieves would have discovered a wardrobe of costumes and hundreds of replica and original artefacts dating back thousands of years in the back of the unusual Ford Luton Van, which is painted matt black and has a medieval window and door fitted.

The van was the livelihood of historical re-enactor Steve Parish, who visits schools across the UK in the van – which is fitted out with a four-poster bed, toilet and cooker – giving interactive lessons on 25,000 years of history.

The theft, between 10pm on Sunday and 7am on Monday from Forfar Street, St James, has left Mr Parish struggling to fulfil bookings later this month.

Mr Parish, who set up Past Alive! 35 years ago and has owned the van for 12 years, said: “I bring to life English history and visit schools all over the country, using my van to travel and live in while I’m away.

“I’m in real trouble now. I have a number of bookings and desperately need another vehicle to carry on my business.

“It’s my home, my office and my livelihood, which has all been taken from me.

“A lot of hand-made reproduced clothing, which is very difficult to recreate and cost thousands of pounds and took hundreds of hours to make, was stolen.

“A few swords and spears were in the back of the van which are weapons, and in the wrong hands could be very dangerous.

“Various irreplaceable artefacts were also in the van, including my grandfather’s World War One bayonet, which was of huge sentimental value to me, and bullets used in the Battle of Naseby from 1645.

“This really is a unique van with unique items inside and I can’t believe that someone has wanted to take it.

“The van will stick out like a sore thumb so I’m hoping someone would have seen it.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 03000 111 222.