August 20, 2008
Surprise As PC ‘Molly’ Opens New Superstore
By STEVE PEACOCK
Veteran Dartmouth bobby Paul Marels thought he had been called back on duty to help safeguard a VIP who had been invited to the town to formally open Sainsbury's pounds20million new superstore.
But when he got there the surprised policeman found the VIP was actually HIM.
He was promptly handed a pair of scissors and asked to cut the ribbon to declare the 20,000 square foot store well and truly open.
The whole thing came as a complete surprise as Pc Marels, known as Molly, was taken in by his fellow officers and the store bosses who had organised the 'surprise' opening.
They had even invited along retired colleagues to watch Pc Marels in action and new Dartmouth PCSO Bill Morris, a former Royal Marine bandsmen, turned up with his bugle to play a fanfare.
"It was a bit of a surprise. They called me in from annual leave and I said I would help out," he said. "They took me up to Sainsbury's to help look after some VIP and the next thing I knew they said I was the VIP."
Pc Marels has spent 30 years in the force, 27 of them in the Dartmouth, Kingsbridge and Salcombe areas.
His Dartmouth-based sergeant, Iain Simons, said the surprise had been laid on to honour Pc Marels 'for his service to policing the community all these years'.
The opening of the new Sainsbury's store brings the number of supermarkets in Dartmouth to four.
The Dartmouth Sainsbury's store has been hailed as the company's flagship 'green' store and will be the its first to use a lorry running on methane gas extracted from landfill rubbish.
Householders were queuing up yesterday morning for Pc Marels to cut the ribbon before they could get inside to start shopping.
By midday the car park was packed as people poured in from the town and surrounding area to get a look at the new store.
"Initially there were around 50 housewives waiting outside but within an hour the place was full," said Pc Marels.
"It has remained full ever since. I think Dartmouth is in a bit of a buying frenzy."
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