Public donate records after Dunmow Elvis Presley fan has collection worth five figures stolen

PUBLISHED: 18:03 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 18:03 09 February 2018

From left to right: Denholm Ellis, John Tayler and Dave Harley with records donated by the public, after Mr Tayler had his collection worth five figures stolen. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

From left to right: Denholm Ellis, John Tayler and Dave Harley with records donated by the public, after Mr Tayler had his collection worth five figures stolen. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Archant

An Elvis superfan whose collection of the King’s records valued at five figures was stolen has been surprised by the generosity of the public who donated their discs.

The collection of Elvis Presley records donated by members of the public. Picture: ESSEX POLICEThe collection of Elvis Presley records donated by members of the public. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

John Tayler, 71, from Dunmow had amassed a collection of more than 100 records before it was stolen during a burglary at his home between November 21 and December 3 last year.

Essex Police issued an appeal for information, and after catching the eye of a pair of fellow Elvis enthusiasts were able to help restore some of his collection.

Mr Tayler said: “I’ve been collecting since 1957.

“It’s like with classic cars or stamps or coins, if they’re stolen you’re devastated.

From left to right: Denholm Ellis, John Tayler and Dave Harley with records donated by the public, after Mr Tayler had his collection worth five figures stolen. Picture: ESSEX POLICEFrom left to right: Denholm Ellis, John Tayler and Dave Harley with records donated by the public, after Mr Tayler had his collection worth five figures stolen. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

“Everybody that knows me in Dunmow has said how sorry they are and they’d do anything to help.

“It’s been absolutely overwhelming.”

Dave Harley and Denholm Ellis each held record fairs after the hearing the news, where members of the public donated Elvis records, which were handed to Dunmow Police Station earlier today.

The new collection was handed to Mr Tayler earlier today.

Dave Harley, who is also an Elvis Presley impersonator, said: “Is there anything more personal than someone’s personal record collection, and not one you’ve just hit a button and download it, one you’ve bought and looked after?

“I could hear Elvis saying to me ‘give him the records’ and sometimes it’s easy to know what the right thing to do is.

“We know John’s going to put them on the turntable and they’re going to get back to doing their job, so it’s lovely”.

Among the memorabilia are a calendar signed by the person who did Elvis’ distinctive hair, and a CD of his life performance at the Philharmonic signed by Priscilla Presley.

Denholm Ellis, who runs the Intense record shop in Chelmsford, said: “It’s bad enough anything like that happening but right before Christmas as well.

“It just really struck a chord with me, all the guys in the shop, the record sellers.

“We just wanted to see if we could do something.”

Police have confirmed that enquiries are still ongoing into the stolen collection, and have asked anyone with information to come forward.

Red Leeson from Braintree police added: “The response to this burglary has been fantastic and it’s heart-warming to see so many people wanted to help.

“This collection means the world to John and took decades to build up so I’m really pleased that he’ll be able to replace some of the records taken.”

Call 101 with any information, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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