Wigan Scout group devastated by gas theft

Scouts have been left devastated after a huge supply of camping gas vanished from their HQ just weeks before an international jamboree.

Wednesday, 11th July 2018, 3:58 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:06 pm
Cubs leader Mary Smith at the storage cage
Cubs leader Mary Smith at the storage cage

The 1st Ashton Lord Gerard troop realised offenders had helped themselves to around 10 bottles of various sizes when they arrived for their weekly event last week.

Other news: Controversy as Ironman is cut short by promotersSix large bottles filled with gas and four smaller ones had all disappeared from the metal cage at the side of the Woodedge building.

The group says it is relieved as a minibus it owns was not on the premises having a towbar fitted and the vehicle might have also attracted thieves’ attention.

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However, the group has still lost hundreds of pounds of gear and is now working out how to make sure the Ashton Scouts get to a global gathering of young people near Birmingham later this month.

Group Scout leader Eileen Heyes said: “We discovered it on Wednesday night. We had filled the bottles up the week before and left them there.

“All the children are absolutely devastated. It’s such a shame. They were really upset when we told them at Scouts on Thursday and Friday.

“It’s just one of those things but it’s knocked us for six really. We’ve been trying to keep the cost of the international event as low as possible.

“We are definitely going to get to the jamboree, even if the costs come out of the leaders’ pockets.

“We just can’t disappoint the children like that. Come what may we will be there.”

The group says the disappearance of the gas could have happened any time between the discovery last Wednesday and the previous week. The cage padlock had also gone.

A number of other groups rent the building during the day and it is also used by younger Beavers but none of them would have visited the secluded area at the side where the gas is stored for safety reasons.

Generous Ashton residents are already trying to help the 1st Ashton Lord Gerard troop, with parents sharing messages on Facebook.

They have already been offered a couple of empty bottles from a caravan owner to start replenishing the stock of gas for cooking and lighting.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have also been informed of the incident and anyone with information should ring 101.