Cleethorpes In Bloom team delighted as Boy With The Leaking Boot statue returns
THE boy is back – and this time he is protected.
Cleethorpes' iconic statue of the Boy With The Leaking Boot is back where he belongs, delighting Cleethorpes In Bloom, residents and visitors.
As reported, the statue at the Princess Diana of Wales' memorial pond, on the Kingsway, has been missing from the resort since June, after two drunken men stripped naked, jumped into the pond and vandalised it.
The culprits have never been caught – despite the act being captured on CCTV and leaving their DNA at the scene – but chairman of Cleethorpes In Bloom, Bob Callison, remains hopeful the police will make an arrest eventually.
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In the meantime, members are just happy to have the statue back, which is now protected by decorative railings that form a fountain crown around it. And its return is just in time for their Champions of Champions Horticultural Society presentation on Saturday.
Mr Callison, who designed the new display, said: "This is where he belongs and now he is protected with some fancy railings.
"He is our mascot, and represents everything about Cleethorpes. He represents children, and he is a real character.
"Vandals who want to ruin this for everyone will not deter us. We are still very disappointed in the people that did it but we also have so many good people who volunteer to help out."
The water feature around the boy will project a circle of water away from the boy creating a protective shield against vandals while the metal poles will stop people from climbing over it.
Replacing the boy, which was made by Arne Fabrications Limited, in Grimsby, cost the voluntary group £2,000, helped by a generous £500 donation by a local action group.
Mr Callison continued: "The In Bloom team is so happy to have him back. We are at it non-stop, 365 days a year, trying to do what we can to make Cleethorpes a successful resort and features like the Boy With The Leaking Boot are essential to that.
"We still remain hopeful the people responsible will be caught.
"They may not have been tracked down by video, but we do have their DNA and if they are caught doing anything wrong in the future we have been assured it will flag up on the police system. They are wanted men."
Already, news of the boy's return is spreading, prompting people to stop by for a visit and take photographs.
Although some Cleethorpes residents, who did not want to be named, were not as hopeful as the Cleethorpes In Bloom team that the boy will not fall foul to vandalism or theft again.
One resident said: "It is brilliant to see him back in Cleethorpes, but it isn't going to stop yobs from vandalising it. The only thing that will stop them is prosecution.
"They have done a great job bringing him back and have protected him as well as they can. I just hope it doesn't happen again."