‘Disgusting’ thieves steal fireworks display collection

Stolen Firework Fund at Royal Oak Pub Tingewick Landlord Tony Diston PNL-140918-142721001
Stolen Firework Fund at Royal Oak Pub Tingewick Landlord Tony Diston PNL-140918-142721001

A callous thief has stolen hundreds of pounds collected for a children’s firework display.

A giant whisky bottle containing about £700 donated by customers was stolen from the bar of 
the Royal Oak pub in Tingewick early on Saturday morning.

Every year the village pub collects £1,000 to fund a candlelit parade, bonfire and fireworks display on the field at the back of the pub.

The Famous Grouse bottle containing the cash was wrenched from its fixings sometime between 1.30am and 6.45am, after a thief broke in via the front door.

Landlady Sandra Getman, who came downstairs in the morning to find the front door wide open said: “It’s disgusting. It’s so upsetting. Only the lowest of the low scum would do that.

“We have that bottle on the bar and we raise money all year for the children’s fireworks. It’s been on the bar 14 years.

“It was the shock of my life when I saw it was gone. I couldn’t believe it.

“To feel that they’ve been in here when I’ve been asleep, it’s unnerved me.

“I was worried what I was going to say to the village because that wasn’t my money, it’s their money.

“I felt sick all day.

“The worrying thing is somebody coming in again like that. I’m scared stiff. You hear a noise and you don’t feel safe.

“I could have been down here. I open up for breakfast from 7am, so anyone can come in from then.”

Mrs Getman urged people to tell the police if they think they’ve seen the bottle.

She said: “A huge Famous Grouse bottle that big would be noticeable. Even if it’s broken, they could take fingerprints.”

Local people are stepping in to help replace the money, with a village businessman offering a £200 reward for information leading to the arrest of the thief.

Mrs Getman added: “On Monday, I had a little boy, about seven years of age, come up with his little purse of party money and he gave it to me so we could carry on the fireworks. It’s heartwrenching.”

Half the money raised from a race night tomorrow, Saturday in Tingewick Village Hall will go to the Royal Oak Firework Fund.

Anyone with information should contact PC Graham Labrum via the Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on
101.

Or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org