Seaside donkeys to replace shopper shuttle in Sutton town centre

The donkeys got their first taste of Sutton on Saturday

The donkeys got their first taste of Sutton on Saturday

First published in News Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Seaside donkeys are to replace the popular shopper shuttle service in Sutton town centre.

The shopper shuttle - a free buggy service that drives people up and down the High Street - has proved popular since it was introduced last year.

Sutton Guardian:

These shuttles will be replaced by donkeys

But the buggies are to be replaced by a group of donkeys after Successful Sutton struck up a deal with Weston-Super-Mare Council to give its group of newly redundant beach donkeys a new home.

The group of seven donkeys, named Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy and Sneezy after the seven dwarves, have carried children along the beach at the seaside town for the last four years.

However, a sharp decline in the popularity of beach donkeys means the group, along with many others in the UK, have found themselves in the donkey dole queue.

When donkey enthusiast Ross Feeney, chief executive of Successful Sutton, read about the animals' plight he decided he had to act.

He said: "I just couldn't bear to think about these poor animals, with their raison d'etre just taken away like that. Then it occurred to me that I could help so I contacted the council and struck up a deal.

"Now the donkeys will be available free of charge to help people get up and down the High Street, which is pretty steep.

"We will be encouraging people to donate food for them, we hear they are partial to carrots and turnips - although we ask that people refrain from feeding them candy floss as this was becoming a bit of a problem in Weston-Super-Mare."

Flora Pilo, chief executive of the Donkey and Ass Freedom Trust, said: "I was delighted when I heard about this deal between Sutton and Weston-Super-Mare. Too many beach front donkeys are being deprived of their reason to live and coming down with donkey depression.

Sutton Guardian: RIDES: Melanie Rush with the beach donkeys

Dopey and Doc in Weston-Super-Mare before they were made redundant

"Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh made donkey depression into a joke, but I can assure you it is not.

"Thankfully these seven young donkeys have been saved."

The donkeys have already been used in trial runs up and down the High Street over the weekend run and Mr Feeney said they handled the change in terrain well.

They will be available to shoppers from midday today.

Comments (8)

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7:04am Tue 1 Apr 14

theavengers says...

april fools...but isn't it fools day everyday at sutton council? first, shuttle isn't popular and 2nd donkeys would be more amusing and 3rd don't put it past this council to come up with another stupid idea to waste our money.
april fools...but isn't it fools day everyday at sutton council? first, shuttle isn't popular and 2nd donkeys would be more amusing and 3rd don't put it past this council to come up with another stupid idea to waste our money. theavengers
  • Score: 15

8:16am Tue 1 Apr 14

LiberalsOut says...

theavengers wrote:
april fools...but isn't it fools day everyday at sutton council? first, shuttle isn't popular and 2nd donkeys would be more amusing and 3rd don't put it past this council to come up with another stupid idea to waste our money.
Spot on
Mind you there are plenty of donkeys running the Council maybe we just jump on the back of a Lib Dem Councillor and they can carry us up the High Street?
[quote][p][bold]theavengers[/bold] wrote: april fools...but isn't it fools day everyday at sutton council? first, shuttle isn't popular and 2nd donkeys would be more amusing and 3rd don't put it past this council to come up with another stupid idea to waste our money.[/p][/quote]Spot on Mind you there are plenty of donkeys running the Council maybe we just jump on the back of a Lib Dem Councillor and they can carry us up the High Street? LiberalsOut
  • Score: 16

9:07am Tue 1 Apr 14

PeterM says...

As they say, many a true word spoken in jest,

Although clearly an April Fool, this would be an excellent idea as the Donkeys would help reinforce Sutton Council's Green credentials. No CO2 emissions from electricity generation to recharge the batteries on the buggies and a free grass cutting service for the local parks. Win/Win.

Ditch the buggies and bring in the Donkeys.
As they say, many a true word spoken in jest, Although clearly an April Fool, this would be an excellent idea as the Donkeys would help reinforce Sutton Council's Green credentials. No CO2 emissions from electricity generation to recharge the batteries on the buggies and a free grass cutting service for the local parks. Win/Win. Ditch the buggies and bring in the Donkeys. PeterM
  • Score: 9

9:29am Tue 1 Apr 14

Tubby Jim says...

FFS.
FFS. Tubby Jim
  • Score: -7

10:53am Tue 1 Apr 14

PollyTechnic says...

I think it would be wonderful if Sutton Council would make a substantial donation to Donkey and **** Freedom Trust in return for the donkeys to be named after cabinet members. This will not be the first time Sutton Council have spent money on DAFT ideas.
I think it would be wonderful if Sutton Council would make a substantial donation to Donkey and **** Freedom Trust in return for the donkeys to be named after cabinet members. This will not be the first time Sutton Council have spent money on DAFT ideas. PollyTechnic
  • Score: 8

8:48pm Tue 1 Apr 14

ems09 says...

It's not Weston super mere the donkeys are from its Weymouth beach in the picture I know them well
It's not Weston super mere the donkeys are from its Weymouth beach in the picture I know them well ems09
  • Score: 3

11:34pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Belmont lady says...

I am a user of the buggy which is a great help. Are the elderly supposed to climb on the donkeys?
I am a user of the buggy which is a great help. Are the elderly supposed to climb on the donkeys? Belmont lady
  • Score: -2

12:57pm Mon 7 Apr 14

mariamvh07 says...

The donkeys should not be subjected to carrying big, fat or overweight people. They have rights just as humans do.
The donkeys should not be subjected to carrying big, fat or overweight people. They have rights just as humans do. mariamvh07
  • Score: 5

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