Sour taste of apple theft turns sweet

Penny White (left) and Ann Owen of the Houghton racecoursew Access Point, Queensway, Houghton with some of the apples donated by well wishers after their were stolen.
Penny White (left) and Ann Owen of the Houghton racecoursew Access Point, Queensway, Houghton with some of the apples donated by well wishers after their were stolen.
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A CORE of rotten thieves will not stop a Wearside community from supporting the nation’s war heroes.

Gardeners in Houghton rallied round with huge bags of fruit when they heard that hundreds of apples had been stolen from a community garden.

The Echo reported how the apples, which had been destined for pies to be baked and sold to raise cash for Help for Heroes, had been stolen from Houghton Racecourse Community Access Point garden last week.

After reading about the theft, People phoned volunteers at the access point, wanting to donate apples so the fund-raising pies could still be sold at the forthcoming coffee morning.

Ann Owen, secretary of the access point, said: “Two people have already been in with bags of apples and others are bringing them down later in the week.

“We were really surprised and delighted that people could be so generous and everyone is pleased they are going to be getting their apple pies after all.

“I think people were just so saddened that thieves would do this. As well as the apples, people who read the story have also been in with donations for the raffle, which is fantastic.

“I think people want to support such a worthwhile charity as Help for Heroes.”

The community centre is a valuable asset to the people in the area, providing play groups, youth activities and computer access for people to job seek and write CVs.

But volunteers were left disappointed last week when they realised the trees in the garden had been stripped of their fruit.

Ann said it was the best crop of apples they have ever had, after being lovingly looked after by 81-year-old gardener Dempster Smith, and regulars planned to use their coffee morning this month to sell their slices of pie, made from their own fruit, knowing they were also raising money for a good cause.

The generous donations of fresh apples for the pies have restored the volunteers’ faith in the community and everyone is again looking forward to the coffee morning and their slices of apple pie.

Anyone is welcome to go along and support the charity coffee morning on Wednesday, October 19 ,from 10am to noon.

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