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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 August 2006, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Panto group banned from bed push
A pantomime group will raise cash by pushing a wheelchair through a Cornish village because of a "ridiculous" decision to stop them using a bed.

For almost a decade, Trewoon Pantomime Group had boosted their coffers by shoving a bed through the streets.

But last year police called a halt to the tradition because it was felt to be too dangerous in the traffic.

So this year the group intend to revive the event - by using wheelchairs and keeping to the pavement.

Public duty

Pantomime director Anne Gaulton has described the bed ban as "ridiculous".

She said there had never been any problems or accidents involved with the bed push, which raised about 2,600 when it was last held.

Ms Gaulton told BBC News: "As you can imagine, we're so disappointed. It's just another instance showing the country is going mad."

The panto director said the two-mile (3.2km) bed push had to take place on the road and police were apparently concerned there could be an accident in the village.

This year the three wheelchairs involved in the push will have to stay on the pavements.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it was unfortunate, but they had a duty to protect the public.

The wheelchair push will start in Trewoon, near St Austell, on Saturday 19 August at 0930 BST.

Half the money raised will be given to the Support Kernow Young Diabetics charity.

Panto member Mandy Wallbridge said the group was determined to make the wheelchair push successful.

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