A SEAFRONT tourist attraction has risen from the ashes after the community rallied following an arson attack.
Pauline Allen, who runs Ride ‘n’ Joy at Fisherman’s Green, was devastated when arsonists attacked her kiosk in the early hours of last Thursday morning (July 12).
The Eastbourne businesswoman hires out quadricycles along the town’s seafront and the weekend of Eastbourne Extreme is one of her busiest of the year.
However, despite the kiosk being completely gutted and blackened in the fire, she was able to open on Sunday (July 15) after the local community turned up on Saturday to help with the big clear up.
Pauline said, “I just can’t believe how amazing people have been.
“We had more than 20 people turn up here on the Saturday to help us - the support was brilliant.”
Local people and businesses helped out after Pauline’s husband John put pictures of the gutted, blackened kiosk of Facebook after the fire.
Pauline said, “Word spread from there and we just had all these people coming forward.
“I had a call from Buckinghamshire saying they were going to send us a cheque to help pay for the work and then along came a local electrician who said he didn’t want any payment for the job.
“The neighbours, those people who live opposite the kiosk, were supplying hot drinks and sausage sandwiches for all those people who were helping because we didn’t have any power.”
Nothing was salvageable from the back of the kiosk but the black smoke damaged furniture, which was stored at the front, was jet washed by the fresh fish shop at Fishermens Green.
Pauline said, “The guys from the fish shop were here for hours cleaning everything and after everyone’s help and support we managed to open for Sunday.
“There is no way we would have been able to do that without all the help we received.
“I would also like to thank Eastbourne Hospitality Association for all their support.”
More than 1,000 well wishers have posted messages of support on Ride ‘n’ Joy’s Facebook page and Pauline says she has been touched by their concern.
She said, “I think people have been supportive because we are a small business.
“Even on the Thursday when we were down there with the police and the council, people were stopping and saying they hoped we get back up and running soon.”
Pauline’s artist friend has painted a mural on the back of the kiosk and Ride ‘n’ Joy and its seven quadricycles are now trading as usual.