Joy as readers replace boy’s cycle

Luke pictured with his new bicycle outside St Mary and St Nicolas Church in Spalding. SG020815-131TW
Luke pictured with his new bicycle outside St Mary and St Nicolas Church in Spalding. SG020815-131TW
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A Spalding teenager who had his bicycle stolen from outside the church where he sings in the choir has had his prayers answered – by being given the money to buy a new one.

The story of how Luke Franks’ only form of transport from the other side of town in Cherry Tree Grove was stolen at St Mary and St Nicolas Church so shocked members of the congregation and choir when they read it in the Spalding Guardian that they had a collection.

Luke’s mum, Hayley, originally spoke to us because the £400 Raleigh Hybrid bicycle had been locked up securely outside the vestry with a heavy duty chain and padlock and she wanted to warn other cyclists that thieves were about.

But both she and Luke never expected the wheels to turn in such an amazing way.

Hayley said: “The choir master, Nick Pitts, called to say he had been contacted by a number of members of the church congregation who wanted to donate money to help replace Luke’s bike.

“In all they donated £250 and then Nick told me that they would like to make it up to the full amount from the choir itself,

“I was and still am absolutely astounded and humbled by the generosity of these kind people.”

The newspaper also had a call from Lesley Westlake at Kirby and Wells Ltd of Spalding who wanted to offer Luke a bicycle they had.

Hayley said: “Luke is absolutely amazed, as we all are.

“Our only reason to tell our story was to raise awareness and warn people to lock up their bikes.

“You see so many bikes that are not locked and it obviously makes them easy targets.

“We have also found out that we weren’t insured, which we have now sorted, but I do wonder how many other people out there are also not insured.

“If the story made one person check their policy or made sure they locked their bike, I would have felt something good had come out of this nightmare.

“I really didn’t expect such kindness from people.

“Luke and the family would like to thank the congregation and Nick Pitts at church, Lesley Westlake and Kirkby and Wells for their kind offer, everyone on Facebook who commented and shared mine and Luke’s posts and the paper for running the story.”

Spalding Grammar School student Luke (15) said: “The response has been indescribable.

“It’s a great feeling to know I’ll now be able to carry on getting about town with the help of the church.”

In May, police warned residents to beware of cycle thieves after a spate of shed break-ins.

If you have any information about this theft on Sunday, July 26, or any other cycle crime, call police on 101.


Shock at cycle theft from outside Spalding church