Plymouth charity 'box' mine back at historic site
A CHARITY collection box with a difference is back at Plymouth's historic Mayflower Steps after being emptied and refurbished.
The decommissioned World War Two mine is one of several which collects money for the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society, and is a famous city landmark.
In the 1950s, the Admiralty gave them to the charity, which provides financial help to fishermen, mariners and their dependents in recognition of its support to sailors in two world wars.
Every few years they have to be opened, emptied, re-welded and re-painted.
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In Plymouth, the job was done in five days by Plymouth Community Homes' metal fabrication shop and its sign shop.
PCH chief executive Clive Turner said: "We are one of the few organisations in this city able to carry out this type of restoration work.
"It is fantastic that locally-employed staff had the opportunity to work for a charity with such historic ties to the city."
Sign-writer Paul Gregory said: "We restored the original brass plaque, re-enamelled the lettering and had a finishing coat put on in the original colours.
"It was really interesting and challenging to restore something like this."
Steve Hole, South West representative for the Society, said: "I am counting the money at weekends.
"It currently stands at over £1,200 and I still have the daunting task of counting a bucket of coppers." Also found inside the mine were 'treasures' including chip forks and parking tickets.