A group of parents and children were caught out in the cold after their cars were locked in overnight at a Spalding store’s car park.
The parents used the car park outside Homebase in Westlode Street before dropping their children off at Spalding Youth Centre last Sunday when rehearsals for a show were taking place.
About eight children, all aged under eight, were rehearsing with Polka Dot Academy for its Curtain Up show on Saturday before their parents came back to collect them.
But they found the car park gates locked and a keyholder, who had let someone out just minutes earlier, turned down parents’ pleas to re-open the gates for them.
One parent, Lucy Hill of Broadway, Crowland, said: “I arrived at 3pm to take my seven-year-old daughter to the rehearsal and parked outside the store, not knowing the gates shut at 4.30pm on Sundays.
“I stayed at the rehearsal with my two-year-old daughter until it finished at 4.30pm and as we were coming out, we were told the gates had been shut.
“My heart sank because my house keys were in the car, but one of the other mums said a man was coming to open the gates.
“So we were allowed to wait inside the youth centre until he came because it was cold.”
Another mum, Nikki Allmond of Moulton, said: “They had to lock up the youth centre and when we were coming out with our kids, we saw a man who was parked outside the store drive off. The keyholder wouldn’t let us get our cars out even though we pleaded with him because our children were getting upset.
“We ended up having to go across to the police station to keep warm and my husband was given permission by the police to climb over a wall next to the car park and get Lucy’s house keys out of her car.
“But the man with the gate keys left us all stranded and we had to come back on Monday morning to get our cars.”
A Homebase spokesman said: “We would like to sincerely apologise for the experience some customers received when trying to exit the car park of our Spalding store.
“An investigation has been conducted with the supervisor working that day and the store is organising a gesture of goodwill for those affected.”