Mystery over vintage car found dumped at bottom of Hampstead Heath pond
PUBLISHED: 10:49 05 August 2015 | UPDATED: 12:58 11 August 2015
It emerged from the muddy depths of a Hampstead Heath pond like something out of a classic detective novel: the rotten shell of a vintage car, lying under the water for decades.
Crowds of curious bystanders stopped for a look at the mud-covered vehicle on Tuesday night, to incredulously wonder at how the car came to be dumped at the Model Boating Pond.
Then rumours surfaced yesterday morning (Wednesday) that contractors had also pulled a skeleton from the pond’s depths, but the City of London Corporation said no remains had been found or reported to police.
The pond is currently being dredged as part of the controversial £15million dams project to protect the Heath ponds from flooding.
Passer-by Karen Santi, of Hampstead Lane, Hampstead, said: “I was walking by and there was this old Ford Cortina sitting in the middle of the pond.
“It looks like a 1970s-style model and could have been there for ages. There was quite a crowd there taking pictures.
“A fisherman who was at the pond said he contractors also told him they had found a skeleton.”
The car first became visible on Tuesday night, when Ms Santi photographed the roof of the car emerging from the muddy depths.
By yesterday morning the vehicle – thought to be a convertible Mark 3 Ford Cortina – was clearly visible on the bed of the pond with its front passenger window rolled down.
The car was found dumped several yards from the edge of the pond’s bank. Bystanders said they believe the car has been lying out of sight for about 25 years.
Fashion designer Florence Bridge, 25, said she was running on the Heath when she saw the car at the bottom of the pond.
“How did it get there?” asked Miss Bridge, of Estelle Road, Gospel Oak. “Maybe something bad happened, so that someone wanted to dump their car.
“All the builders were going to have a look at it, to see if there was a body in there.
“It’s pretty mysterious. It’s weird to think that for all those years, the car has been down there, and someone has known that.
“That person might be getting worried now the pond is dredged that people are going to find out something.”
Richard Gentry, head of the City of London’s Hampstead Heath Constabulary, said: “A car has been exposed and a metallic eagle has also been found by contractors during safety works to the Model Boating Pond.
“Both objects have been reported to the Metropolitan Police as they may be of evidential value.”