Watches of Romford Market’s ‘Godfather’ stolen from grandson

Watches belonging to a late Romford Market trader, who was known affectionately as The Godfather, have been stolen from his grandson’s home.

When Charlie Fancourt, whose family have been trading in Romford for 80 years passed away in 2003, he left two watches to his grandson Richard, now 41.

But while Richard was away from his Oak Street, Romford, home last weekend, crooks burgled him.

He said: “The burglars stole a laptop, and an iPad and some other things but the insurance will cover everything else, the only things I really care about are the watches because they were my Granddad’s.

“Me and my Granddad were quite close, I used to help out at the market as a boy, it’s still run by my Dad and I help out there now.”

One of the watches is a Victorian 18k half Hunter pocket watch. It was given to Charlie by his children in the 1970s as a replacement for a similar watch – which had been stolen in a burglary.

It dates from 1897 and carries a Victorian Sovereign to mark that year’s Diamond Jubilee.

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The other is a well-worn stainless steel Omega Cal 285 sc, men’s watch with a leather strap.

Richard added: “I’ve since found out they were quite valuable but I would never sell them, they are a memento of my granddad. The rest of the stuff I don’t really care about that much.”

The pocket watch was made by Edwin W Streeter, 37 Conduit Street, London and has a gold case with full London hallmarks for 1875/76. The 3/4 plate movement signed by the maker.

An Omega Speedmaster and Breitling Bentley were also stolen in the burglary.

In 2003, hundreds of mourners lined the streets of Romford for the funeral of Charlie – who was also a former president of the Essex County Bowls Association.

Anyone who has information about the burglary or knows the whereabouts of the watches should call Havering Police on 101.