‘I wasn’t hallucinating’: Dinosaur delivers welcome cheer to town
PUBLISHED: 15:50 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:50 07 April 2020
People looking out of their windows in one coastal town could have been forgiven for thinking they may have been dreaming during the coronavirus lockdown.
Observant locals spotted a dinosaur casually making its way around the streets with some special deliveries at the weekend.
With the streets almost empty, those adhering to the government guidelines to stay at home were greeted to the unusual sight of the dinosaur beavering away in Carlton Colville.
A few villagers taking part in early morning walks had to do a double-take amid concerns that the east coast community had been transported to the ‘Jurassic Coast’.
But fears that isolation may have taken its toll on hallucinating householders were quickly allayed – as the inflatable T Rex character brought some much-needed cheer to town.
With the dinosaur character walking around Carlton Colville waving to excited children in their houses, it was all the idea of Emma Castleton, 1st Carlton Colville Beaver Scout leader.
She said: “I needed to distribute some badges to our Beavers and thought that whilst out on our allowed exercise, we could have a walk in the village and post badges to local Beavers who missed out on receiving them when we had to close due to Covid19.
“To raise the youngsters’ spirits whilst at home, I brought a dinosaur along to wave to them from a safe social distancing position.
“I wanted to do something special instead of just putting the badges in the post, so I decided on walking to some of those that live near me and deliver them.
“I live in the centre of the old Carlton Colville village and thought I could deliver to those near me on Saturday in the village and in The Oaks estate and would do some on The Dales next weekend.
“We did get a good reception not only from the Beavers and parents, but also from a lot of the villagers as we walked around.
“Many people waved, beeped their horns and wanted to take a photograph of the dinosaur from a safe distance - but not all the dogs were keen and a few did bark at the dinosaur!”
Ms Castleton, who is also the Assistant District Commissioner for Lowestoft Beavers Scouts, added: “We have 26 Beavers in our Colony with about 130 Beavers in Lowestoft.
“We should have had our badge presentation two weeks ago but unfortunately we didn’t know that ‘Face to Face’ Scouting would be suspended due to coronavirus.
“All the Beavers knew that they would be receiving their badges the following week, and they certainly don’t forget!
“The badges were for a few things we have been working on over the past term such as first aid, experiment badge, gardening badge and a few other activities.”
With her son Nathan Waldron being a 1st Carlton Colville Air Scout, he bought the dinosaur suit for Halloween a few years ago.
She added: “He is used to my ideas so was quite happy to come out with me in his costume.
“We called it the ‘Dinosaur Delivery’.
“I emailed and texted the parents so they knew we would be coming and we would be adhering to social distancing but would wave to the Beavers as we posted their badges.
“I have to say that the Beavers reaction to the Dinosaur Delivery also cheered up both Nathan and myself as we were actually meant to have flown to America last Friday to stay with family, however that’s been cancelled along with my annual leave and I now have to work.
“I’m a Sonographer at the James Paget University Hospital so it’s very busy at the moment!”
The 1st Carlton Colville group has been issuing weekly challenges for their Beavers to do so they can continue scouting at home and working towards badges.
Ms Castleton added: “Suffolk County Scouts are currently running a competition for all of Suffolk Beavers to design a badge that will be worn on their uniforms if they complete the fortnightly challenges set by leaders.
“I’m hoping that all of the Lowestoft Beavers will take part.
“We are getting some great photos from parents of the Beavers taking part in the scouting challenges.”
District Commissioner Mel Buck said “While everyone’s on shut down, many Scout groups have been keeping in touch via email and Facebook, with some groups also using video conferencing to engage with their youngsters.
“The Suffolk County Scouts are using the #adventurecontinues and locally we’ve added #lowestoftbeavers so that everyone can see what others are doing.”
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