St Neots playgroup appeals for help after its summer fair VIP Peppa Pig is held in customs

10:44 11 June 2014

(From left-right) Kelly Holmes, with children Isabelle and Oliver, and committee member Delphine Johnson.

(From left-right) Kelly Holmes, with children Isabelle and Oliver, and committee member Delphine Johnson.

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A St Neots playgroup is appealing for help to save its summer fair after the children’s character Peppa Pig had an unfortunate detour on her way to the UK ... she has been detained in customs.

Fundraising manager at Priory Park Playgroup Kelly Holmes, 35, said she ordered a Peppa costume from eBay ahead of the summer fair. However, with just three weeks to go until the event, she received a letter on Thursday (June 5) to say that Peppa would not be coming after all ... customs officials had ruled that the outfit infringed intellectual property rights.

“I contacted the seller and he said he’s not going to be responsible for it because it has been detained in customs,” Mrs Holmes told The Hunts Post.

“When I ordered it, I ordered it in good faith and believed that it was from the UK and that it was an item of legitimate character.”

The mum of two said that the costume was a “huge investment” for the St Neots playgroup at a cost of £210. They were hoping that an appearance from Peppa would attract more people to the fair on Saturday, June 28, which the fundraising committee use to generate money to buy toys for the children.

While there will still be a bouncy castle, games, a tea tent, raffle, and barbecue, if a replacement can’t be found, they will be left without the star attraction.

Mrs Holmes added: “I’m panicking a little bit. I’m just disappointed for the kids, I really don’t know what I’m going to do now. I feel awful because we have advertised saying Peppa Pig is going to be there.

“If someone could help it would restore my faith in people, having been let down, and I think it would just mean the world for the playgroup. For the children, it would mean they could meet someone they always see on TV but they don’t see in real life.”

A spokesman for the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) said that they could not comment on individual cases.

She added: “The website http://whois.net enables consumers to assess whether a website owner is UK-based or overseas. This is not a guarantee of quality but gives consumers more information about any seller. Basic intellectual property advice about trade marks is available on the IPO website www.ipo.gov.uk.

“The Intellectual Property Office does not offer any form of legal advice and in all cases we recommend that advice is sought from a professional.”

INFORMATION: If you can help the playgroup with a replacement costume – it does not need to be Peppa Pig – email news@huntspost.co.uk or call 01480 443451. The fair will be held at the playgroup’s site in Almond Road, from 11am-2pm. Entry by donation.

For help with consumer issues, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0845 4040506.

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