Almanack: Anyone seen our lions?

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The Independent Online
ANY rugby club in the country would mourn the loss of two Lions, even in the close season. But for Dudley Kingswinford of the Midlands (West) Division One, the shock is particularly acute. For they have lost not British Lions, but a pair of stone animals that until last week sat at the gates to their ground. 'One day they were there,' the club's David Vaughan reports, 'the next they were gone.'

The ornamental lions, which weigh a quarter of a ton each and resemble in attitude those in Trafalgar Square, were donated to the club in 1963. They are sorely missed by the club's members, who are aghast at the audacity of the theft. 'We think they must have been stolen in broad daylight,' David Vaughan says. 'Though you might find that hard to believe.' The local constabulary reckon the beasts must have been stolen to order, and the Dudley team are appealing for vigilance from sports fans everywhere.

So if your next-door neighbour mysteriously acquires a pair of spectacular lawn ornaments, or if you were in the Dudley area last week and noticed some unusual activity involving cranes, lions and lorries, David Vaughan would very much like to hear from you. His telephone number is 0384 834402.