Sunday, 26 September 2021

Florists’ deliveries hit by Calais migrant crisis

When we got on boat we could clearly see the men had gained access through the

When we got on boat we could clearly see the men had gained access through the cabin hatch. There were marks all over the carpet and mattress and they had also tried to use the toilet. The police had already removed something which we believe was needles.

“I felt very annoyed that something like this should happen. Our private space has been violated.”

Mr Tritton, a member of Henley Lions Club, called for action to stop such incidents happening.

He said: “Given the situation in Calais, these guys have obviously been spreading around ports in France looking for a way to get across. It’s a very sad situation for them and we feel for them but in this case we are annoyed at the various people involved, like the boat’s transporters and Border Control. They need to be much tougher. This problem also needs to be addressed at source.”

The boat has been taken back by Broom to be cleaned and repaired.

Mr Tritton said: “Broom insisted they take it back to the workshop in Norfolk and we didn’t want to argue with that. At the end of the day we want a pristine boat.

“We won’t get it back until some time next week but it’s important to us to feel that honour has been restored.”

The suspects, who were described as “dishevelled”, were arrested in Mumbery Hill, Wargrave.

The Home Office said they would be deported if it was found they had entered the country illegally.

Meanwhile, florists in the Henley area say their supplies have been disrupted by the immigration crisis in Calais.

Most blooms sold in the UK come from the Flora auction at Aalsmeer in Holland, the largest supplier in the world, and are driven here by lorries via the Channel Tunnel.

However, some batches have been delayed or abandoned due to the disruption caused by stowaways trying to reach Britain through the tunnel and clashes between migrants and French police.

Annette March, who owns White Gdn in Hart Street, Henley, said: “Our supplier has limited availability at the moment.

“You could order two or three trolleys and one might not make it. That could mean a bride doesn’t get her bouquet. It’s still fine as long as we order in advance but we can’t guarantee last-minute orders whereas usually we can. In some cases the supplier charges extra and we’re having to pass that on to the customers.”

Erica Cunningham, who owns Brambles Floristry in Sonning Common, said: “We haven’t been hit as badly because our supplier gets flowers from all over the world. The majority of wholesalers have had some delays and spoilage, which is potentially a big problem as it’s wedding season.

“However, most of our stock doesn’t come through Calais so we’ve only had a few delays, though I don’t know how long that can go on.”

Eric Miche, co-owner of Stemtation Flowers in Market Place Mews, Henley, said: “There were a few delays in the first week but there aren’t any major problems now.

“We’re currently taking one delivery every day and our suppliers are starting to deliver by boat so it’s back to business as usual.”

Jane Macfarlane Duckworth, of Hambleden, who sells only English flowers through her business Flower Union, said her client list had doubled in the past month.

She said: “I’ve had more demand than ever from people who’ve been unable to get their flowers through traditional Dutch suppliers. People have come to me when orders haven’t arrived from elsewhere.

“There are lots of good English growers in the Henley area and people should be buying their flowers from them.”

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