Fred West cafe: Where is the Clean Plate?

EARLIER this year Cops excavated the basement of the Clean Plate cafe after a piece of blue material – believed to be Mary Bastholm coat – was found by an ITV production crew.

The schoolgirl who mysteriously went missing at the age of 15, is believed to have been offered a lift by serial killer Fred West and then murdered.

Where is the Clean Plate? 

At the time of her disappearance, Mary had been working as a waitress at the Pop-In café in Gloucester – now called the Clean Plate café.

The building can be found on Southgate St, in the Town centre.

And it is just half a mile from West’s home at 25 Cromwell Street.

What has been found at Clean Plate? 

Detectives had seen an image of what they think is buried bones at the Cafe.

Ground penetrating cameras also discovered dark blue material matching a coat 15-year-old Mary was wearing when she vanished 53 years ago.

They worked in an area to the side of the basement which builder West converted into toilets.

A source said at the time: “Camera images clearly show material which matches the navy blue coat Mary was wearing when  abducted.

“In addition, there are images of what look very much like human bones.

"Great care is being taken to sift through the surface.”

However in the end the search uncovered no evidence that her body had been buried there.

What happened to Mary Bastholm?

Mary was just 15 years old when she was reported missing on January 6, 1968, and she has never been seen or found ever since then.

She is believed to have been offered a lift by serial killer Fred West and then murdered.

Her mysterious disappearance had been linked to the serial killer as he was a regular customer at the cafe – then known as the Pop-In – when Mary vanished in Gloucester.

In 1970, Mary's mum and dad, Doreen and Christian Bastholm, spoke about the last time they saw their daughter, alongside her boyfriend, Tim Merrett, who had been expecting to meet her off the bus in Hardwicke, a village just outside Gloucester.

Asked to recall the last time they'd seen their daughter, Doreen told ATV's Alan Jones: "Well, she came home about half past six, and had her tea, and sat in this corner, where I'm sitting and enjoyed the Bernie Winter [comedy TV] show.

"She went out about between 10 and quarter past seven with a carrier bag with a Monopoly set in to catch the 25 past bus at the end of Tuffley Avenue.

"And that was the last we saw of her."

Her boyfriend added that when he went out to meet her, the 7.30pm bus "came along and she wasn't on that".

Eventually he went home, and returned to the bus stop at about 8.20pm, for the 8.30pm bus. He first suspected something was wrong when she wasn't on that bus either.

When her parents were asked what they thought happened on that night, her dad replied: "Well it's rather difficult to say, but one thing – I'll always say this – she didn't go away on her own."

He said it was unlikely that a "young girl like that" could "evade the police for so long, well she'd have to be a master at the game, wouldn't she?"

Christian added: "Well personally myself, I think she took a lift from someone she knew. This could have been someone that perhaps came into the cafe."

A woman worker in the cafe told the reporter: "Well, [Mary] was very happy, her boyfriend had come in the daytime and she'd arranged to go to his house and she was perfectly happy."

"I can't imagine that she would have run away."

Police said that they knew she had arrived at the bus stop, "but from then on we have no trace of her whatsoever".

Her mum said: "Her bank book was left upstairs with some loose money in it.

"The only thing she had in her handbag was her medical card, and an appointment card for the infirmary to see the dentist which she had to go and see on the following Thursday."

Asked if they had any messages for their missing daughter, Doreen pleaded: "Please come home or get in contact with us".

Her husband added: "I think she'd immediately do it.

"She was a very emotional girl. I don't think she would have kept us [waiting] this long.

"Even if she had run away by herself or with someone else, I think if she had the opportunity she would have communicated with us."

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