A FIERCELY patriotic great-gran has hit out at visitors to Hartlepool Marina who she says repeatedly steal her Union flag.
Marie Whittle says flags have been swiped from the flagpole in the back garden of her Hartlepool Marina ground-floor flat, which overlooks the water, around seven times since the town hosted the Tall Ships Races in 2010.
The 76-year-old is “disgusted” with the culprits, who she says make their way into her property via a gate from a pathway to the waterfront to steal her flags.
Marie bought her flat “with great pride” to retire to and she said it had a great view of the marina, which was “just what I had always dreamed of”, until her flags started disappearing.
She said the first time one of her flags was taken from her flagpole, which is two storeys-high, was during the Tall Ships Races and she has had to replace two this year alone, including one which was a Christmas present.
Marie, a retired nurse who worked at the former St Hilda’s Hospital before teaching at Brierton and Billingham Campus schools, said: “I am proud of my country and fly the flag for England,.
“But the late-night low-life, who enjoy the night-life offered down the marina not only steal my flag, but vandalise my flagpole.
“I’m very patriotic, I think everybody should be, I love all things British.”
Marie, a mother-of-four, grandmother-of-10 and great-grandmother-of-one, who retired to the marina in 2010 from her previous home in Clifton Avenue, added: “I thought everybody would have been a bit more patriotic during the Tall Ships and I flew my flag, only for it to be stolen.”
She said she told police about the first incident, in 2010, but has given up reporting the thefts.