Police open file on 1951 Newstead murder

POLICE have re-opened files on the 1951 murder of a woman from Newstead after a call from a member of the public.

Detectives revealed last week they will look again at the 1951 killing of Florence Weatherall following contact from the caller, who has not been named.

The 23-year-old’s body was found in a ditch near Bestwood Village, Nottingham, three weeks after she went missing after leaving her home near Newstead Abbey on 2nd February 1951. The mother of twin girls had been strangled.

Mrs Weatherall was one of seven daughters and originally from Mansfield.

She had sold ice cream from a van in the town for her father’s business and had also worked as a nurse shortly before marrying.

At the time newspapers reported the killer remained at large despite an ‘exhaustive’ investigation involving Scotland Yard detectives and dozens of county police officers.

Mrs Weatherall, described in original newspaper reports as ‘small, attractive and vivacious’, was married to Edward, a vaccum cleaner salesman.

On 1st March 1951 the Mansfield Chronicle, as Chad was then known, reported police appeals for any women who had been offered car lifts in recent weeks near Mansfield to come forward.

One theory investigated was that she was killed after getting into a passing car after being offered a ride to Mansfield.

Her mother, who was at the couple’s home to babysit the children, had watched her leave the bungalow close to the abbey gates and walk towards Mansfield Road to catch a bus to the town.

Her husband later reported her missing and her body was found in a ditch beside Moor Road, between Papplewick and Bestwood Village.

A miner heading to a spring to fetch water made the discovery and alerted police.

Said a Nottinghamshire Police spokesman on the latest development: “We can confirm that we have been contacted by a member of the public in the last few days in relation to the murder of Florence Weatherall.

“We have not been given any new information or evidence. However we will be looking again at the file of this historic unsolved murder.”