The minibus is used to take the many students currently arriving at Country Cousins on cultural and sporting trips - Credit: Dave Griffin

Ilfracombe Language School's minibus destroyed by vandals

Dave Griffin

A minibus hired by Ilfracombe’s Country Cousins language school was attacked and virtually destroyed by vandals on Monday (June 13) night.

The school’s director, Jose Brinkmann, believes that the damage will amount to several thousands of pounds, and is a devastating blow to Britain’s most prestigious language training school, winner of the British Council’s ELTton award for outstanding achievement in its field.

Windows were smashed on the nearside of the bus, and a fire extinguisher set off over the vehicle’s interior.

The minibus is used to take the many students currently arriving at Country Cousins on cultural and sporting trips - Credit: Dave Griffin
The minibus is used to take the many students currently arriving at Country Cousins on cultural and sporting trips - Credit: Dave Griffin

The culprits were so determined to render the bus unusable that the dashboard controls were torn out.

"The bus cannot be started," said Mr Brinkmann, who believes that the crime was premeditated. "Cameras on nearby householders homes would not have caught them at it, and they knew that they would be completely out of view."

The minibus is used to take the many students currently arriving at Country Cousins on cultural and sporting trips as part of their learning experience.

The minibus is used to take the many students currently arriving at Country Cousins on cultural and sporting trips - Credit: Dave Griffin
The minibus is used to take the many students currently arriving at Country Cousins on cultural and sporting trips - Credit: Dave Griffin

The school has reopened after two years of closure during the pandemic, and is about to welcome children and teenagers from across the world through its doors.

Country Cousins has been a major economic asset to Ilfracombe since its foundation by Patricia Gale, in 1951. ‘We will carry on’, said Mr Brinkmann.

Police officers have visited the school, please contact the police on 101 if you have any relevant information on the crime.

The minibus is used to take the many students currently arriving at Country Cousins on cultural and sporting trips - Credit: Dave Griffin
The minibus is used to take the many students currently arriving at Country Cousins on cultural and sporting trips - Credit: Dave Griffin
The minibus is used to take the many students currently arriving at Country Cousins on cultural and sporting trips - Credit: Dave Griffin
The minibus is used to take the many students currently arriving at Country Cousins on cultural and sporting trips - Credit: Dave Griffin
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