News 1 August 2015
RAC breakdown take three days to get family of 7 home from Paris
It was a dream holiday to Disneyland Paris for a Nailsea family with five children even if the journey home turned into a bit of a nightmare.
Friends and local businesses had rallied round to send little Logan Marsh who was born with a rare type of acute myeloid leukaemia on a trip of a lifetime with his four siblings and parents Craig, aged 34, and Sarah, 30.
A special Logan’s Wish fund was set up and supported by Tesco Nailsea to pay for the holiday which should have been from Tuesday to Saturday, July 21-25.
In little over eight weeks the fund raised £3,000 for the special four day stay.
It was decided dad Craig would drive the 434 miles via the Euro tunnel because of all the necessary medical paraphernalia needed to keep Logan well.
It proved a major undertaking especially adding the luggage for seven plus two pushchairs and taking out comprehensive travel and medical insurance.
But with Chloe, 11, Oscar, nine, Toby, seven, Logan, four and one-year-old Harlow all safely aboard it proved an uneventful road trip out and an exciting first few days on the fantastic Davy Crockett Ranch, a 15 minute ride to the main Disneyland Paris activities.
But said Sarah it was on route back to this base on day two of the holiday that the family Toyota broke down despite spending more than £1,000 fitting a new head gasket and radiator to ensure the car was roadworthy prior to the trip.
A caring Disneyland Paris stepped in and moved the family to a hotel within walking distance of the centre and the RAC were contacted about getting the car repaired.
But this is when they got the bombshell as French mechanics valued the car at £1,000 and the repairs at 2,500 Euros – nearly £2,000 at current exchange rates.
It was announced the car wasn’t worth repairing.
The RAC did agreed to pay for the rail fares home but when no train could be found via the Euro tunnel they said the £250 bill for the boat ferry would have to be borne by the Marsh family.
And that’s when their troubles just escalated.
It became an epic test of endurance with missed trains and several re-bookings of the boat ferry, taxi dashes and long walks in the rain while all the time the added anguish that Logan’s meds were running low.
There were paperwork complications to sort with initially the RAC saying they had the wrong bank card invalidating their insurance, then the taxi arrived at railway station a few minutes late and although the train was still standing on the platform they were forbidden to board which led to another overnight stay.
The second attempt was also nearly thwarted when station staff couldn’t find their RAC booking and they were going to be stopped travelling again.
Sarah Marsh said: “At one point we only had five minutes to run to a platform on a busy rail station with the bags, buggies and five children – it became extremely stressful.
“I cannot fault Disneyland Paris they went above beyond anything I could have of wished for but at the station staff were so unhelpful with other passengers pushing and no common courtesy.
“We did manage to keep smiling for the children but at times we felt like the McCallister family in the Home Alone film about a trip to Paris.
“The dash at Calais was horrendous – the older children pushed the buggies while Craig and I juggled the luggage and it was pouring.
“Logan doesn’t maintain his body temperature well and he was crying with the cold.”
The family arrived home two days late at 3.12am on Monday, July 27, via three French train changes at Lille, Flanders and Calais.
The stay at Disneyland Paris was everything the family hoped for and more but not the journey home.
Sarah described Disneyland Paris as ‘awesome’.
Despite the horror of the journey home Sarah maintains it was a trip of a lifetime.
She said: "I'd do it a million times over look for the joy Disneyland gave all my children.
"I've never cried so many happy tears and I actually went to bed tired out happy."
The latest update is the RAC is asking for £811 ‘repatriate’ the car and £17 a day to ‘store’ while the Marsh’s get the additional finance together.
Friend Sarah Davis had coordinated the fundraising appeal and actually did a trial run by road to Paris to check there wouldn’t be any unforeseen problems for the family.
She said: “This little boy has been through more in his short life than most of us could imagine going through in a lifetime yet he is one of the funniest, loving, happy children you could hope to meet.”
Logan’s long term prognosis is unknown.
Because of damage caused by chemotherapy and other life-saving treatments every night Logan has to be connected to a ‘feeding tube’.
But he remains funny and resilient and most days he has been well enough to attend his Church Lane pre-school.
Next term Logan is due to start at ‘big’ school another milestone his family or the doctors never thought he would make when he was born.
Although the future is still uncertain his family are determined to focus on the here and now and making memories like the Disneyland Paris adventure.
Sarah Marsh is a stay-at-home mum who also runs a small face-painting business called Sarah's Spectacular Smiles and dad Craig works at Kingshill Church School at Pound Lane.
While Sarah Davies who is married to Ryan, a customer experience manager, and runs Country Craft Cakes an online store selling non-edible gifts for small people and their parents.
Whatever the outcome and even if the RAC relent with the extra charges the Marsh family have incurred many more out-of-pocket expenses that could reasonability be expected.
Therefore the online fundraising account is still open at
A big thank you if you feel you can help and to Nailsea photographer Leah Bingham Hill for the lovely family pictures.
STOP PRESS: Late on Tuesday afternoon this week an RAC spokesman contacted by said: “The RAC would like to apologise to the Marsh family for all the difficulties they experienced in getting back to the UK after their car broke down in France.
“As it was not possible to provide the family with a hire car due their circumstances we made arrangements for them to travel back to the UK by train.
“Unfortunately this did not go smoothly due a booked taxi turning up late, resulting in them missing their train, and then the following day there was difficulty making a connection in Lille on their rearranged train journey which led to them missing their planned ferry.
“As a gesture of goodwill the RAC would like to reimburse the family for the £250 ferry crossing and related re-booking fees.”
Sarah Marsh said: “It is good news that the RAC is now covering the ferry tickets home.
“We now just have to pay to get the car repatriation and storage which means we have to find another £731 which is a massive amount for us to find.”
Sarah Davies added: “I still feel they should contribute to the repatriation costs as they have refused to get a second opinion on the costs for the car.”
Most of the unresolved dispute centres on the cost of the repairs which differ greatly from the estimate given in France to one quoted by a UK garage and whether the Marsh family should have to pay any repatriation costs - see clause right.
Below is how we reported the story in December 2014.
Click HERE to read in full.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Nailsea people on the move
Builders are busy converting the old Nailsea Cycle Shop ready for the Beauty Rooms who are currently upstairs at SP Hair & Design to move in this September.
The change-of-use planning application for the empty downstairs unit at Sion Place to become offices is so Crown Glass Shopping Centre manager Charlotte Jarrett who was appointed in November 2014 can swap her upstairs management office above Iceland for the ground floor former computer shop.
If approved the old office suite will be made into more apartments.
Nailsea Town Council planning and environment committee recommended acceptance for ‘change of use to part ground floor from A1 (retail) to A2 (offices) anc change of facade on the east elevation’.
Now it is up to North Somerset Council to decide.
Newly-converted 2-bed apartments at Crown Glass Shopping Centre are going on sale priced from £125,000.
Register your interest with Heritage estate agents on 01275 544477.
And finally did you see The Old Worlewind Videos shop sign exposed under Global Furniture sign – waiting for Debra charity shop to move in - no date yet.
Fine freezer food at garage
Budgen’s supermarket at Wraxall garage is selling an upmarket range of freezer from COOK Food Ltd a company founded in 1997 to make dishes which look and taste homemade – but be warned they aren’t cheap.
The fish pie for four is £16.99.
The 24/7 petrol station store also has an in-store Subway and Costa Express and has recently introduced a Signature Loyalty Card.
Tout's Budgens is on the Bristol Road.
To mark this they are offering a 2p off petrol until further notice for people with loyalty card.
Click HERE to go to its website and learn all about its offers.
Churchill apartments sale
Churchill Retirement Living is building the 1 and 2-bed apartments at Christchurch Close.
The family owned British company specialises in purpose-built homes with community facilities in the UK.
At the moment its huge crane is towering over the town centre.
For further information on the properties call on 0800 458 1856.
Christmas really is coming
The return of the Christmas street fair is coming but not this year.
Crown Glass Shopping Centre manager Charlotte Jarret confirmed the format of the annual festive event along the High Street and precinct has been under discussion with traders and Nailsea Town Council.
She said: “I think it is important that everybody is involved.
"The reality is it is such a big event, that we want to get it right and under the advice of those involved in previous years we won’t be able to achieve it this year, but would hope to reinvent the market for Christmas 2016.
"This Christmas we will stay with the light switch on and hold a similar event to that of Christmas 2014.”
Nailsea Town Council leisure facilties committee is discussing improving the High Street Christmas lights at its meeting this week.
Youth services cut appeal
A young man with learning difficulties has won an appeal against North Somerset Council. Aaron Hunt, now aged 25, took the council to court when it slashed its £14.4 million youth budget claiming it had breached the Equality Act. But Aaron lost and faced paying all the council’s legal costs of £65,000. In the Court of Appeal this week this was overturned and liability set at two thirds having won the argument that the council had acted ‘unlawfully’ in its original decision.
To read the full press summary of the judgement click HERE.
Free late night bus trial and new timetables and routes for Nailsea
It is all change on the buses in August for Nailsea people.
New routes and new timetables are being introduced thanks to a Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) to North Somerset Council.
And for the first fortnight passengers can get the last bus home with First when travelling after midnight.
The new services to be operated by First and Abus follow a consumer consultation earlier this year.
Passenger will soon be able to catch either an X8 or X9 every 15 minutes between Nailsea and Bristol only.
Service X8 will operate via Backwell and the Long Ashton bypass.
Service X9 will operate via Wraxall and Long Ashton.
Wraxall will have a bus every 30 minutes a significant increase for the village.
The A2 will be extended to Clevedon and Portishead with buses alternating between the two destinations.
This replaces service X8 in these areas and provides Clevedon and Portishead with a bus link to Bristol Airport for the first time.
Late evening journeys have also been introduced on the service X8 between Nailsea and Bristol in response to requests for more night bus journeys.
Service X54, an express commuter route between Nailsea and Bristol, will be operated by Carmel Bristol from Monday, August 24.
There will be a peak-hour journey into Bristol in the morning and a return from Bristol in the evening.
Abus service 55 is being withdrawn but many journeys will be covered by services X8 and X9.
To find out more go along to Nailsea library on Wednesday, August 12, 12.30-5.30pm or Saturday, August 15, 9.30am-12.30pm and pick up a new timetable.
More detailed route and timetable information for the above services is available by clicking HERE or by calling bus operator First on 0117 244 4040.
Elsewhere in North Somerset, improvements have been introduced for those working in the Portbury Docks area, with a convenient bus link from Portishead, Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare.
First service X5 will serve a new dedicated bus stop near the port, just off junction 19 of the M5. Buses will arrive here at 7.52am, 8.54am and 9.55am in the morning and depart at 4.25pm, 5.30pm and 6.33pm in the evening.
Bus services X2/X3 will also change on Sunday, August 23, with an additional stop at Bower Ashton Campus.
During university term times only, journeys on these services will serve the new stop towards Bristol between 9am and 6.30pm.
bar l restaurant I coffee lounge
wine bar and good food restaurant
The Courtyard, Nailsea
Manager Ellen-Louise Pirret and her staff look forward to welcoming all at 120 High Street
Open daily from 9.30am for
Dinner 6-9.30pm Monday to Thursday,
6-10pm Friday and Saturday and traditional Sunday lunch noon-4pm
Well-stocked wine cellar with fine selection of white and red
Butcombe beer on tap
To book click HERE, call 01275 854455 or email
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Uniforms and accessories: Beavers, Rainbows, Cubs, Brownies, Guides and Scouts
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