Cafe appeals for return of beach toys

Rich and Adrienne Ashcroft of the Patchwork Cafe in Port St Mary with their half empty bucket of toys

Rich and Adrienne Ashcroft of the Patchwork Cafe in Port St Mary with their half empty bucket of toys

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Port St Mary cafe owners Rich and Adrienne Ashcroft are appealing for the return of their beach toys.

They placed a borrow-and-return bucket filled with all of the toys you could dream of for a trip to the beach outside Patchwork Cafe for the whole summer season last year without a problem.

Residents and visitors to Port St Mary were encouraged to take items – free of charge – to play with on the beach.

But following the Queenie Festival in the village at the weekend they were upset to find that many of the items had not been returned to the bucket.

‘The first year it worked absolutely fine,’ Mr Ashcroft said.

‘It was fantastic. People who didn’t want to buy more plastic buckets and spades could take them for a day or an hour free of charge.

‘This year the bucket has been there only about a month or so and we are already 50 per cent down.’

The couple have not yet reported the incident to the police – hoping that people will be honest enough to return the items.

‘We are appealing to anyone who visited at the weekend and finds when they open the boot of their car that they have a bucket or spade that they don’t think belongs to them to please drop it back at Patchwork,’ he said.

‘We would really appreciate it.’

He added: ‘If any of the items have been broken, please just say. There won’t be any charge.’

Among the items that have gone missing are buckets and spades, fishing nets, footballs and even a full cricket set.

Mr Ashcroft said: ‘It’s not what you expect to happen in Port St Mary. The bucket is a nice thing to have in the village. There are honesty boxes all over the island for goods such as vegetables and eggs.

‘That is why we like to think everyone is trustworthy.’

It hasn’t all been bad news at Patchwork though. Last week the couple were delighted to find they had won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, given to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews.

Mr Ashcroft said: ‘When the Certificate of Excellence arrived in the post there was no one more surprised and delighted than ourselves. We have worked tirelessly over the last year to make Patchwork a true destination and community-orientated cafe.

‘Accreditation such as this really makes it worthwhile.

‘It’s a combination of excellent service from our front of house staff and the wonderful Manx produce that has been fundamental to our success.

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