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Social media post prompts outcry as Good Samaritan comes forward to repair beloved statue broken on Christmas Day

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:04 30 December 2016

The statute after repair with its Christmas hat back on in place.

The statute after repair with its Christmas hat back on in place.

Archant

A much-loved statue which was damaged by a mindless vandal has been brought back to life after a social media post went viral.

The statute after it was found pushed over on Christmas day.The statute after it was found pushed over on Christmas day.

The 180kg statue, which is called ‘Franc’ by its owners Elaine and Peter Hunt had its head snapped off after being pushed over.

The incident happened at the home in Front Lane, Cranham, in the early hours of Christmas Day.

Residents were left particularly upset by the timing as the “local landmark” is always dressed up with a Christmas hat come December.

“We were really disappointed when we saw the damage,” Elaine said.

John Lucas carrying out the repair at the house in Cranham.John Lucas carrying out the repair at the house in Cranham.

“It’s been a tough year with both of us losing family members so seeing this was just not needed, we were left gutted.”

It led to a work colleague posting a picture of the statue in tatters appealing for help in finding the vandal.

But the family did not expect the huge response that would follow.

“We could not believe the response from everyone in the community,” Elaine said.

“We are so humbled by it all and we have loved reading how everyone remembers Franc and what they called the statute, he has so many names.

“People have knocked on our door with flowers, chocolates and even money.

“Any money we have received will be donated to charity.”

Just two days after pictures emerged on Facebook, ‘Franc’ has already been repaired after the daughter of an experienced stonemason got in touch.

Natasha Blauuw, who lives locally, said she was shocked to see the damage and immediately called her dad, knowing he would be able to fix the statue easily.

Dad, John Lucas, was able to mend ‘Franc’ by using a strong stone glue, sand and cement and inserting steel pins along the side.

Natasha said: “My dad has been a stonemason for 40 years and has restored Georgian and Edwardian buildings all his life so I knew he would be able to do this blindfolded.

“He has a heart of gold so he was ready to lend a hand straight away.”

“We know the statue as ‘Bob’ and I have children who say it’s not Christmas until he has his hat on so it’s lovely to see it back up.”


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