Thieves stole more than a century’s worth of family history when they targeted a horse box.
The crooks stole a Mercedes 84 van from Shard Road in Singleton.
Its “irreplaceable” contents included horse brasses, harnesses, and a plough.
Devastated owner Wynne Hull, who shows heavy horses and takes part in competitions, said the plough was the last item his father Robert, a champion plougher and top shire horse breeder, had left him.
He added: “It’s more than 100 years of history gone.
“The worst thing to have lost is the plough – it’s totally irreplaceable.
“It’s the last thing I had off my Dad, it’s family history.”
Mr Hull’s wife Anne added: “It’s 40 years of collecting things as well. It’s the brasses and other things that we use for shows. It may be that the van is gone – but it’s the other stuff that is more valuable to us.”
The Hull family name is logged in the Shire Horse Society’s first stud book of 1878 and heavy horses remain a family tradition.
Mr Hull founded the Northern Counties Heavy Horse Working Society in 1994 and has won countless awards at country shows.
Police confirmed they are now investigating last Tuesday’s theft of the Mercedes van and its contents.
It is thought thieves approached the private plot of land, set off Shard Road, to take the van.
Horses nearby were found in an agitated state the following day.
A police spokeswoman said: “As well as the vehicle, the thieves have taken family heirlooms which are of great sentimentality to the victim.”
Anyone with information regarding the theft should contact PC Robert Hills on 0845 1253545.
Mr Hull said a reward will be paid to anyone who helps relocate his possessions.