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Visitor praises 'wonderful people' of Scilly

Facebook users have been sharing stories of Scilly's community spirit after a chain of people jumped to the aid of a holidaymaker who had forgotten her car keys.

Visitor Sophie Bignell thanked "the wonderful people of IOS" who helped her family last Friday (June 1st) when they accidentally set off home to the mainland without their car keys.

She wrote on Facebook: "It was 4:36pm and we were on the Scillonian heading out of St Mary's when my husband realised we'd left our car keys on Bryher. An unbelievable chain of people leapt to our cause starting with Chris [Hopkins] at Fraggle Rock, who handed them to a customer who caught the 5pm transfer to St Mary's.

"Paul [Mallon] the taxi driver met the boat at 5:30pm and swiftly drove them to the airport where Rafe [Ward] put them on the 6pm plane, then Cath [Benoy] working for Skybus at Land's End passed them to John (a bus driver for Skybus), who brought them to the ferry terminal just at the Scillonian was docking.

"As I said quite unbelievable and we were able to drive home that night. If you know any of the above people, especially the mystery tourist from Fraggle Rock, please pass on our grateful thanks. All praise the large spirited folk of IOS."

The mystery customers at Fraggle Rock were identified as Emma Lissaman and friend Rosie, both 13 years old. Emma's dad James said they were "glad to help".

A commenter on Sophie's post wrote: "That's a fantastic story and sums up the magic of the islands." Subsequent comments included, "Scillonions ROCK! Thats amazing and I am not surprised" and "Special place and special people".

Others posters then shared some of their own stories about the generosity of islanders and transport operators.

Sarah José wrote: "I had similar in 2009. Thursday morning had a call from Bath hospital to say my Dad, who had cancer, was poorly and to come home. Spider, the taxi driver picked me up and dropped me at the heliport, for free. The heliport held up the helicopter and let me board first, no charge for that either. Then i had a friend drive down to pick me up. All of this allowed me to spend a precious 4 hours with my Dad. Thats why Scilly and its people are wonderful."

Annemarie Pickering posted: "Brilliant! Love Scilly!..your story reminds me of the time we were staying with friends on Tresco and were invited to extend our stay by camping on Bryher. The helicopter folk agreed to bring over the camping stuff which was already in the car at the heliport, a friend of my friend took my car keys back with her to Penzance, gave the helicopter people the camping stuff, they kept the car keys safe at the heliport for me for the duration, and we got an extra bonus holiday! I love the Scillies and the wonderful Scillonians."

Maggie Greaves added: "We had a similar but not so crucial experience last year. I bought two lovely Scilly plants and said I would collect them later. Realised I'd forgotten to pick them up when we were waiting to sail on the Scillonian. The lovely Purser arranged for a young chap to cycle quickly to the shop to collect them for us. He arrived with 10 minutes to spare. Although not on tbe same scale as your amazing experience, you can't beat Scilly people for customer care!"

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