Kids deflated by birthday bouncy castle heartache

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 December 2010

DEFLATED: Heartbroken youngsters' birthday fun was ruined.

DEFLATED: Heartbroken youngsters' birthday fun was ruined.

Sara Hadfield

A TRIO of Sidmouth children were left deflated on their fifth birthday when a bouncy castle wrangle broke their hearts.

A TRIO of Sidmouth children were left feeling deflated on their fifth birthday when a bouncy castle wrangle broke their hearts.

Flora Hadfield, Ellie Wallace, William Pulman, pictured, and 40 partying pals were devastated when a mix-up meant they missed out on the centre-piece of their celebrations.

Plucky parents came to the kids’ rescue and bounced back, improvising with a string of fun activities at Sidmouth Catholic Church hall last Saturday, December 11, but unhappy mums and dads feel an inflatable hire firm let them down.

Exmouth based JJ Leisure Hire said it attempted to deliver the bouncy castle early, but its driver was unable to get hold of the party organisers, before having to go to another booking. Delays and traffic then hampered the driver’s attempted return to Sidmouth.

“Three children were left heartbroken,” said Flora’s mum Sara, “we’d been planning for months and only booked the hall to accommodate the bouncy castle.

“We hadn’t expected to plan anything else other than face paint, food and pass the parcel, and were then left with two hours to fill with a large group of children.”

Husband Brian said: “I was so grateful it wasn’t just my wife and I. Working with other parents we managed to provide our children with a reasonable party.

“With 40 kids hanging from the chandeliers we had to get on and do something.”

The Hadfields were yet to pay for the castle. They said they booked it two months ago and it was due to arrive at 1pm.

A spokespesman for JJ Leisure said a delivery driver arrived at the church hall early and was advised there was no booking at the venue.

The driver attempted to contact Mrs Hadfield without success and left a message.

“We then left to go to another booking in Exeter,” added the spokesman,

“We received a call from Mrs Hadfield at 12.40pm, and, we anticipated being able to return at 1.30pm.

“Unfortunately, due to delays with the other drop and traffic, we didn’t make it back before the party ended.”

The company offered the family a 50per cent discount off a future hire.


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