‘They were part of our family history’ – heartbreak as treasured Christmas decorations taken from Sidmouth café

The Filling Station. Ref edr 17 19TI 3155. Picture: Terry Ife

The Filling Station. Ref edr 17 19TI 3155. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth café owner has spoken of her heartbreak after a bag of cherished Christmas decorations – some more than 20 years old – were thought to be stolen while she worked.

Roz Kendall, of the Filling Station, was left distraught after discovering a bag of 'irreplaceable' decorations were taken from the business's storeroom on a busy Saturday (December 7).

Mrs Kendall had planned to hang the decorations on a tree set up in the café before the business opened, but ran out of time.

She placed the bag of ornaments in the storeroom, which can be accessed by people heading to the café toilets, with the intention of hanging them on the tree later.

But when she tried to find the bag that evening, there was no trace of it.

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Mrs Kendall said: "It is such a horrible thing to do at this time of year.

"Lots of people do not have, but if you do not have, it does not mean you steal.

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"There are plenty of places that give people things - I would have happily given someone something off the tree.

"I have candy canes on the tree to give to children."

The missing ornaments include a glass cherry with a green stalk, pink baubles and three decorations carved from camel bone - an angel, the Pyramids and a nativity scene.

Mrs Kendall said: "They are ornaments we bought when we lived in Egypt.

"They are irreplaceable."

The decorations have adorned the Filling Station's Christmas tree for the last six years.

Mrs Kendall said: "I am very upset - they are part of our family history."

The Filling Station was not the only organisation to be targeted in the run-up to Christmas.

Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce has expressed its disappointment after one of its nine public Christmas trees was unbuckled and stolen.

The tree, in East Street, was purchased from Combe Garden Centre in Honiton.

Sylvia Brownlee, chamber secretary, said: "We are most upset about it. We put a lot of effort into putting the trees up.

"We know this was not the general Sidmouth community."

Mrs Kendall said reports have also surfaced of charity raffle prizes in Sidmouth going missing.

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