The police deal with all kinds of enquiries and some of those are to do with items lost and found but rarely do they come across the case of a missing house but 70 years ago today, that is precisely what Leeds Police were faced with.
The case related to a building at Claremont Place, a quiet backwater near Claypit Lane, in which an entire house, save for a few bricks, apparently just vanished overnight.
Onlookers were stunned by the disappearance and detectives from Leeds were left scratching their heads at the disappearance.
According to a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post from the time “only a small quantity of bricks and a stone sill from one of the windows” were left.
The report went on: “one one side are two empty houses and on the other side is an occupied house. People living about cannot account for the disappearance of the house.”
An agent acting for the lost property said: “I have known houses to be stripped before but not taken away altogether... the roof timbers, lead, ceiling laths and every other bit of woodwork has disappeared. Even the bricks left on the floor didn’t amount to a quarter of those originally in the house.”
It was known the house had been unoccupied for some time and was said to be of “old fashioned” construction.
At the time, there was something of an epidemic of ‘house stripping’, it seems, with numerous agents reporting thefts of banisters and other woodwork and roofing lead, which was expensive at the time. The lead stolen from this house was said to be worth £75 alone.
The following day, men were caught stripping roof tiles and lead from a house in the same area - they were rumbled by the owner, who was in at the time and police were called.