Vandal-hit iconic Exmouth in Bloom swan boat restored to its former glory

PUBLISHED: 09:46 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:46 20 November 2018

Exmouth in Bloom's swan floral display was mended after it was beheaded by vandals
 Left to Right…Graham Bell, Peter Riggs and Steve Satchell

Exmouth in Bloom's swan floral display was mended after it was beheaded by vandals Left to Right…Graham Bell, Peter Riggs and Steve Satchell

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An icon of Exmouth turned award-winning floral display has been restored to its former glory after it was targeted by vandals.

Steve Satchell attaching the head of Exmouth in Bloom's vandalised floral displaySteve Satchell attaching the head of Exmouth in Bloom's vandalised floral display

Exmouth in Bloom volunteers were last week ‘saddened and angry’ to discover its swan boat floral display had been decapitated.

The swan boat, ridden in by thousands over decades, was donated to bloom volunteers earlier this year, filled it with flowers, and displayed near Exmouth’s LED swimming pool.

In the early hours of Monday, November 12, the swan’s head was found lying near Imperial Road Exmouth, snapped off from the body of the boat.

The swan’s head was reattached at the weekend.

Steve Satchell attaching the head of Exmouth in Bloom's vandalised floral displaySteve Satchell attaching the head of Exmouth in Bloom's vandalised floral display

Exmouth in Bloom volunteers are keen to identify the vandals and are urging anyone with information to contact the police.

A spokeswoman for Exmouth in Bloom said: “Peter Riggs, who is a supporter of Exmouth in Bloom, was starting his morning run and was stopped in his tracks by the sight of the swan’s head lying outside Haldon House Surgery.

“He passed the head to Graham Bell, designer of the original project, who was able to get the initial damage repaired.

“Steve Satchell, an amazing local man who saw the report of the damage on social media, also offered help; his expertise is mending fibreglass boats, so he had all the equipment, knowhow and skill to fix the head back.

“Exmouth in Bloom thank him most sincerely for giving us his time and for making passers by so happy that Sammy the Swan is mended.”

The swan floral display helped Exmouth scoop gold status in the 2018 Britain in Bloom competition; the town won the Art in the Landscape prize for the swan boat project.

For almost 40 years, the swan boats were an attraction at Exmouth Fun Park, on the seafront, until it closed in August 2017 for site redevelopment.

Exmouth in Bloom received a swan boat from former seafront Fun Park owner, Chris Wright, as a mark of its heritage in the town.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Devon and Cornwall police, on 101, quoting police reference CCESWB3, or Devon and Cornwall crime reference number 1050/18.

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