Stunned teenager's tears of joy when villagers near Harborough hand her the keys to a new scooter - just days after her old moped was stolen and destroyed by arsonists

About 15 villagers stood and clapped at the Fox Inn in Wilbarston in the surprise get-together

Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:04 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:06 pm
Summer was given the keys to the swish blue Suzuki Sixteen 125 motorbike as about 15 villagers stood and clapped at the Fox Inn in Wilbarston, near Market Harborough, in the surprise get-together.

Stunned teenager Summer Brown broke down in tears of joy when she was handed a new scooter just days after her old moped was stolen and destroyed by arsonists.

Summer, 18, was given the keys to the swish blue Suzuki Sixteen 125 motorbike as about 15 villagers stood and clapped at the Fox Inn in Wilbarston, near Market Harborough, in the surprise get-together.

And the shocked art and design student collapsed into the arms of her grandmother Jean Innes after the village has united to raise almost £1,200 to get her back on two wheels again.

Summer was given the keys to the swish blue Suzuki Sixteen 125 motorbike as about 15 villagers stood and clapped at the Fox Inn in Wilbarston, near Market Harborough, in the surprise get-together.

Today Jean, 57, who looks after Summer, told the Harborough Mail: “They were very emotional moments!

“Summer had no idea that I’d managed to buy her a new scooter.

“She thought she was just going in to work at the Fox pub, where she works part-time.

“I went up there with this brilliant new moped and got a little crowd of about 15 people together to help hand it over to her,” said Jean.

“We asked Summer to step outside the pub.

“She had a little panic attack at first, she couldn’t believe what was going on.

“It was overwhelming after all the heartbreak and devastation we’ve all gone through over the last few days.

“As it started to sink in Summer just gave me a great big hug.

“She was overcome by all sorts of emotions – shock, relief, happiness and a fair few tears.

“Summer’s a lovely girl, one of the best, and she’s just so grateful to all the amazing people in Wilbarston and beyond who have banded together to support her and raise all this money.

“We really can’t thank them all enough, they’re just fantastic.”

We carried Summer’s heartbreaking story in the Harborough Mail earlier this week after she was cruelly targeted by thieves in Desborough.

Her new red AJS A9 Flight 125 was stolen between 5pm and 6pm on Tuesday October 26 on Alexandra Road, Desborough, just weeks after she’d got it.

“I saved so hard for ages to scrape together enough money to buy Summer that bike.

“She’s in her second year studying art and design at Tresham College in Corby,” said Jean, who also cares for her 13-year-old grand-daughter Jordan.

“We paid about £600 for the scooter – and Summer loved it.

“And then some scumbags came along, pinched it and set it alight.

“But the way that the villagers here and people across the Market Harborough area have responded has been absolutely magnificent.

“A lovely friend of mine called Kelly Mercer immediately set up a fundraising campaign.

“And before we knew it people were donating online, pushing donations through our letterbox and wishing us well with a flood of goodwill messages,” said Jean, who’s lived in Wilbarston for 10 years.

“They have raised almost £1,200, which is just breathtaking.

“I’ve spent about £750 on the new Suzuki scooter I found at Motoduo in Kettering.

“And the rest will help to fund her insurance.

“It’s a beautiful bike and Summer loves it.

“I decided to give it to her out of the blue at the Fox pub in front of some of the terrific people who have dug so deep to make this possible.

“It’s been a hellish few weeks.

“Me and Jordan were struck down by Covid, Summer had her new scooter stolen and she had her 18th birthday to top it off.

“But we are starting to recover now and Summer’s got an incredible new moped,” said community stalwart Jean.

“We’ll be extra vigilant and careful looking after this new bike.

“A chap is giving us a special lock with an alarm to help keep it secure.

“There have been four motorbikes stolen in Desborough just in the last week or so.

“It must be the same yobs pinching them, the police have got to get a grip.

“But at least our sad story has got a happy ending.

“And Summer and I would once again like to thank every single big-hearted person who’s helped us out and given Summer her freedom back on the road so very quickly.”

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said they are urging anyone who has any information about the theft of Summer’s moped to call them urgently on 101.

“The moped was added to our ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras to flag if it was picked up by any of them.

“This was reviewed daily (with no hits) until the moped (AJS Flight in red) was sadly found burnt out in the early hours of Friday (October 29) near Burdock Way (Desborough),” said the spokeswoman.

“An investigation into the theft and subsequent arson is ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact us quoting ref number 21000623731.

“Work does go on in the background on crimes like these.

“And I can reassure Jean and Summer that we were looking for the moped but unfortunately ANPR led to no viable leads.”