Red carpet rolled out for Peacehaven super sleuths

Bertie the bear with Tom and the gang
Bertie the bear with Tom and the gang

Peacehaven’s answer to the Secret Seven were given the red carpet treatment when Circus Wonderland came to town.

Last year a group of friends found a six foot bear costume which had been stolen from the circus.

They discovered the costume down a hole in Howard Park, initially believing it was a dead body.

The Bertie the Bear outfit had cost £1,400 and was an important part of the show.

Circus Wonderland appealed for help in finding the bear suit in the Sussex Express.

When the children brought the bear costume home, mum Debbie Exley did some research online and found the story about the missing bear.

Circus Wonderland was so grateful to the children they made them special guests at the opening performance this year.

Circus director Paul Carpenter, who stars as Popol the Clown, said: “I am so grateful to Tom and the gang, and also the Sussex Express.

“The costume was specially designed for our show and cost £1,400.

“It has been cleaned up and repaired and now Bertie is back in the show as good as new.

“He also has a friend this year, Ernie the Elephant is joining him in the show, but we are being very careful to keep them both locked away safely at night.”

Tom Exley and his six friends were playing in Howard Park and spotted something hidden down a hole.

Tom’s mum Debbie said: “They came rushing back telling us they thought it might be a dead body.

“It was getting dark so we said they would have to go back the next day with their torches.

“They came back with the costume – head, feet, furry body and jacket – trailing behind them, asking me to wash it.”

The circus was devastated at the loss of Bertie the Bear, which was stolen from the Big Top.

They had given up hope of seeing the costume again.

But a month after the theft Debbie contacted the circus to say she had their bear.

The circus had moved to Kent by the time that Bertie was discovered, but Paul promised Tom and his intrepid gang that they would receive VIP treatment at the show when it was next in town.

Paul added: “Bertie is the figurehead of our show.

“He appears throughout the performance and is a great favourite with the children.

“The show just wasn’t the same without him, it was like a person had been stolen, not just a costume.”