Tyneside council worker 'saves Christmas' for children
Council staff have come to the aid of a children's nursery that accidentally threw away all its nativity costumes.
Tynemouth Nursery only realised the outfits had been put out with the rubbish after the bins were emptied.
North Tyneside Council offered to search the tip but was defeated by "thousands of black bags", and staff offered to make new costumes instead.
Nursery manager Melanie Robertson said the authority "actually saved our Christmas".
"We thought they would just say to us 'that's tough, sorry', but they didn't," she said.
The 38 three and four-year-olds at the nursery in North Shields had spent months practising songs and carols, ready to perform them for a 100-strong audience of proud parents and grandparents.
Staff had washed and ironed their costumes before packing them in black bin bags.
When they realised what had happened they "were absolutely devastated", Ms Robertson said.
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Alerted to the clothing crisis, council staff offered to search the tip.
But, unable to find the right bags among "many thousands", they called back to offer to make new costumes instead.
Liz Devlin, who works in the authority's contact centre, arrived with "a car full of material", Ms Robertson said.
"She spent a whole weekend making a Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the kings, the angel," she said.
"I was just so emotional I couldn't stop crying."
Without the costumes "it wouldn't have been the same at all", Ms Robertson said.