Published: 00:01, 05 December 2017
Eager pupils looking forward to a fishing trip were left devastated after the wheels on their school minibus were stolen overnight.
Youngsters from the Orchard School in Wincheap were armed with rods and set to go on a day out, but found the vehicle had been propped up on breeze blocks.
Teachers feared they would have to cancel the trip, but staff at Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School came to the rescue after offering to loan their bus.
Assistant head teacher at the Orchard School Patrick Kelleher said the day would have been ruined if it wasn’t for the grammar school.
“Simon Langton came to the rescue as I was completely stitched up,” he said.
“We were set to go on a fishing trip and all went to get on the bus. But one of the pupils came and told me the wheels were gone.
“All of us were disappointed and the bus was propped up on breeze blocks and was leaning over dangerously.
“It could easily have been a different matter and someone may have got hurt.
“We haven’t got a lot of money, so it’s not nice to see our minibus get vandalised for no reason” - Patrick Kelleher
“Simon Langton really helped us out. We were an hour late for fishing, but the pupils had a great time.”
It is thought the thieves sneaked into the school on Thursday night to steal the wheels.
Mr Kelleher, who has worked at the school for 14 years, says the incident has not dampened the pupils’ spirits but it is an unnecessary expense.
“We haven’t got a lot of money, so it’s not nice to see our minibus get vandalised for no reason,” he added.
“Previously we have had a lawn mower taken but nothing else has ever been nicked – this is very strange.
“But it is nice to see that a fellow school can come quickly to our aid.
“Our mechanics teacher made a bit of a lesson out of it, though, as he put the minibus up on jacks and the students helped.”
Police are appealing for anyone with information on the theft to come forward.
Witnesses should 01843 222289 quoting ZY/58300/17.
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