New carnival club in Frome hit by tool thieves
The theft of vital power tools has jeopardised the chances of a newly-formed carnival club taking part in this year's cavalcade.
Frome Quackers Carnival Club was formed last year by Steve Kitchen and Kristina Woodruff and has 24 members aged between ten and 50 years old.
Mr Kitchen is retail store manager of Lidl in Frome and has been involved in carnival for more than 20 years. It has always been his dream to start his own club.
Last year a group of families and friends got together to form Quackers Carnival Club and constructed their first float called Lost Warriors featuring some terrifying dinosaurs. Tim Russell is treasurer of the club and his wife Lianne is fund raising co-ordinator.
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Mr Kitchen and his partner Kristina largely funded last year's float themselves forking out about £7,500.
The club has been working on this year's float for several months and storing their equipment in a locked cupboard at the back of a generator on farmland in Frome.
Mr Kitchen believes £700 worth of power stools were stolen on either Friday or Saturday night. The break-in was discovered by the farmer who owns the land.
Mr Kitchen said: "It is a real blow. We were hoping to take part in Mere Carnival on September 15 but the loss of the tools will mean that it will be a struggle and Frome Carnival may also be in doubt now."
As a result of the theft, the club members have taken the remaining tools home.
Mr Kitchen added: "Because the tools are scattered in various locations it makes it difficult for us to work on the float. I am expecting 5,000 light bulbs to be delivered to my home and I am going to have to store them in my front room, but we cannot risk having anything else stolen. We obviously have a lot of very disappointed club members at present."
Mr Kitchen is appealing to anyone who may be able to lend them the tools that they need to complete the float in time to enter the carnival circuits.
He said: "The funds we have in the bank are to cover fuel for the circuits and the last bit of material we need to buy to finish building so we are going to be tight to buy tools with it."
Anyone who may be able to help is asked to contact Mr Kitchen on 07989 167433.