Lion back on guard in Corsham

This Is Wiltshire: PC Hazel Anderson and PCSO Shaun Redmond of the Corsham Neighbourhood Policing Team check on the restoration of the Corsham lion with Paul Baker, managing  director of Rudloe Stone PC Hazel Anderson and PCSO Shaun Redmond of the Corsham Neighbourhood Policing Team check on the restoration of the Corsham lion with Paul Baker, managing director of Rudloe Stone

Corsham's golden Olympic lion should be back in its spot at the end of this week with its base repaired – after the men responsible for breaking it agreed to foot the repair bill.

The lion, which guards the entrance to the Martingate Centre, had its stone base cracked on Friday, October 26, leading to a police investigation and CCTV appeal.

Local firm Rudloe Stone, which sponsors the fibreglass beast, have repaired the base at a cost of £215, and last week the vandals turned themselves in after seeing their CCTV images in the Gazette’s sister paper, the Wiltshire Times.

Corsham PC Hazel Anderson said the two men have apologised profusely for the incident, and have agreed to pay for the repairs.

“I think they may have been drinking that evening and this was just a silly act carried out while under the influence. It is good that they came forward and owned up,” she said.

“It will be good to see the lion back in place, people here are very proud if it.”

The lion was given an Olympic makeover by local youngsters this summer, after The Toy Box owner Sue Witt arranged a competition with local schools.

There were 635 entries and in August Mrs Witt painted the lion with the winning design of eight-year-old Corsham Primary School pupil Toni Sutton.

Mrs Witt said: “I received a very sincere letter of apology from the perpetrators which is lovely, it really restores your faith and all that.

“They said they couldn’t remember doing it until they saw the pictures in the Wiltshire Times as they were so drunk, but they made the right choice in the end.”

She will be organising another competition next year to give the lion a fresh makeover, but is keeping the details a secret until then.

Rudloe Stone’s managing director Paul Baker said it was the fourth time the firm has repaired the base.

“It is just the local lunatics coming out of the pubs, having a bit of fun with it. It weighs about 168kg so it is not easy to move,” he said.

“It is a bit annoying as kids love the lion, getting their photos taken on it, but they get caught on CCTV all the time.”

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