A MOTHER-of-two has been left "heartbroken" after thousands of pounds worth of equipment was stolen from her wedding business, while on holiday.

Samantha Metcalfe, who lives in Low Worsall near Yarm along with her husband, Ewan Metcalfe and their children, Ivy, 6, and Etta, 2, set up her family-run wedding firm 'A Wedding Wonderland' in 2017.

But following the recent theft of a bespoke bouncy castle and its equipment, she said she has had no other option but to dissolve the firm.

Mrs Metcalfe, who said this year had been the firm's best year for profits, said she was "absolutely heartbroken" when she was first told the news.

The family had been abroad, when they received a phone call from Mrs Metcalfe's mother alerting them to the theft, which is believed to have took place at some point between Thursday, August 1 and Saturday, August 3.

Upon the family's return, Mrs Metcalfe said one of the hardest parts of the thefts was telephoning clients to tell them what was going on.

Mrs Metcalfe said: "The closest wedding was in just two weeks time. The hardest thing was having to message everyone to cancel.

"We've had to cancel all weddings over summer, and there was about 12 weddings that we have had to cancel.

"The minimum amount people pay is £250, and goes up depending on whether they need supervision, or if they are a bit further away."

Mrs Metcalfe estimated that around £3,000 had been lost through cancellations, while the cost of the bouncy castle and its equipment equalled that amount.

She also said the bouncy castle could not be fully insured for theft owing to the fact that the lock-up was not "technically" an indoor unit.

She said: “We are just in the process of trying to sort it out with the insurance.

"There is no insurance to cover the loss of earnings, we won’t any of that money back.

“And if we are to get another bouncy castle it takes between six to eight weeks to make it.”

The Northern Echo:

The equipment was kept in a trailer

Police later recovered the stolen trailer, which was left with damage to its brakes.

However, the bouncy castle, petrol generator, crash mats, flowers, cleaning equipment and vacuum, has not been recovered. Mrs Metcalfe said her daughters have also lost out, with six-year-old Ivy being "old enough" to understand. She said: "We used to have the bouncy castle out to clean it, and the older daughter used to play on it.

"She’s now left disappointed that she won’t be able to use it anymore.

The disgruntled mother and business owner said she has had no option but to dissolve the firm owing to the sheer amount of money lost, but hoped that one day she could restart it.

She added: "We don’t have the money to pay again. We just have to wait and see."

  • Anyone with information that could assist police with their investigation is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101 and quote incident reference number 372.