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Readers rally round to help scouts

PUBLISHED: 23:31 19 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:14 03 March 2010

BIG-HEARTED Evening Star readers have rallied round to replace stolen tents and saved Scouts' New Year camping plans.

Star readers were dismayed to read that a break-in to the First Claydon Scout hut had left demoralised scouts five tents down and put a promised camping trip on hold.

BIG-HEARTED Evening Star readers have rallied round to replace stolen tents and saved Scouts' New Year camping plans.

Star readers were dismayed to read that a break-in to the First Claydon Scout hut had left demoralised scouts five tents down and put a promised camping trip on hold.

But their generous donation of new tents means the scouts' Frostbite camp in January will now go ahead.

The 160-strong troop comprising of Scouts, Cubs, Guides, Brownies and Explorers were left reeling when their hut in Thornhill Road was broken into less than a week after thieves made off with tents worth £1,400.

Scout leader Paul Hickman said: "We have been overwhelmed by the response. We would like to thank the Star and all its readers. The scouts were very dispirited after the theft of the tents and then the break-in. This has given them a real boost."

Tent donator and ex-army man 79-year-old John Peters from Estuary Crescent, Shotley, said: "It's absolutely terrible what goes on these days.

"When I read about it I felt very sorry for the scouts. I fought in the Second World War at Arnhem and I think they ought to put kids who vandalise property in a detention centre."

Former scout, 66-year-old Bob Ratcliffe from Orwell View Road, Shotley, felt moved to donate a five man tent to the group.

He said: "I read the story and thought it was diabolical. Years ago we didn't even bother to lock our doors and now property gets broken into all the time."

Robin Hawkes, from Broomhayes in Ipswich, who donated two tents, said: "I was very moved by their plight. If they can put the tents to good use then I would be very happy."

Ronald Snowling, from Bourne Park, Ipswich said: "I am happy to donate my four-man tent which is brand new. I thought it was ridiculous when I read about the break in I wasn't very happy. What sort of people would do that?"

Police, who believe bloodstains left after the break-in may help trace the vandals, are scouring second hand shops for the tents.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Ipswich police on 01473 613500.

who served at Arnheim

Not only are 1st Claydon Scouts facing the prospect of cancelling camping plans after vandals stole tents worth 1,400 but now they need to raise yet more money for repairs Vandals broke into the Scout hut in Thornhill Road late on Wednesday night after the Beavers' meeting Beavers' leader Maggie Bashford said They didn't take anything but they made a mess One of them must have cut themselves because some bloodstains were found which the police will use as evidence." Just over a week earlier thieves used power tools to smash into nearby lock ups before making off with tents Now a planned trip over the Christmas break may be cancelled unless the cash strapped Scout group can borrow tents It is already a tough time for the 160 strong group including Scouts Guides BrowniesCubs Beavers Explorers and Rainbows as they try to raise money for a new Scout hut Scout leader

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