Kate 'gutted' by blaze loss of her wedding pictures
A MID Devon woman was "gutted" to discover that negatives from her wedding could have been destroyed when fire tore through a town-centre chemist's.
Kate Bishop, 33, of Uffculme, is warning that other couples may well have lost theirs treasured pictures after Lloyds Pharmacy, Market Walk, went up in flames following a suspected arson attack this year.
After attending a wedding recently, Kate was moved to pick up her own albums to relive the joy of marrying Kevin, 45, at St Andrew's Church, Cullompton, in 2002.
She then called the pharmacy to ask for some new prints but said she was told: "We don't have them (the negatives); they were burnt in the fire."
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Mrs Bishop said when married Kevin, Lloyds Pharmacy, which was known as Northwoods at the time, offered wedding photography and printing packages.
She said the service was a popular one and believed the company photographed around three weddings a weekend and therefore fears hundreds of negatives have been lost.
"They were doing them every weekend, so they could have had a lot of people's negatives," Mrs Bishop said. "We had around 100.
"I wonder how many other people are unaware the chemist no longer has the negatives or how many were burnt in the fire."
Pharmacy manager Stephen Evans, of Cricketfield Road, Chudleigh, is accused of arson and has been released on bail until on his trial, on March 24, next year.
Firefighters were called to the blaze on Saturday, February 16, and around 50 per cent of the ground floor was affected by fire and the remainder was severely damaged by smoke.
The blaze led to the destruction of medicines and a number of prescriptions and firefighters had to don breathing apparatus to tackle it.
A portable cabin was used as a temporary chemist's but the main premises has now been refurbished and was opened on Monday, August 19.
A spokeswoman for the company said staff were investigating the whereabouts of the wedding negatives.
She said: "We acquired the pharmacy about nine years ago and the previous owners organised the wedding packages.
"While we did the dispensing after that, we did not do the packages, and we are not 100 per cent sure whether that stock did get affected by the fire or if it was there, so we are trying to get more information."
The Mayor of Tiverton, Councillor Janet Rendle, unveiled the new look chemist at an official opening on Friday..
She said: "It's nice to have the store open again and back to full service."