A Buckinghamshire family have found themselves on the verge of destitution following a short stop over at Watford Gap Service Station on the M1.
Speaking from a community foodbank in Newport Pagnell, Sarah Smith described how she and her husband Paul, were forced to steal their kids’ holiday money and search under their car seats for any loose change.
“After we pulled up and parked, we went straight to McDonald’s and bought two Happy Meals for the kids and three Big Mac Meal Deals for us both and Paul’s mum. Then we went to W H Smiths to get some bottles of pop and a few bags of crisps and a tin of barley sugars for the mother-in-law to suck on along the way.”
It was then that the family realised they would not have enough fuel to get to the caravan they’d rented in Ramsgate.
“To be honest Paul filled up without looking at the prices and when I saw him turning white and mouthing ‘fuck-me’ at me, I realised there was something seriously wrong. He got back in the car shouting ‘robbing bastards’ and asked his mom to lend him fifty quid. She told him she’d spent her money at Newport Pagnell services on an oven-ready chicken and a bottle of Chardonnay in Waitrose after we stopped there for her first pee.”
In desperation, the couple purloined their kids’ holiday spending money.
“Jessica was fine about it but Jake kicked up a real fuss, it’s a wonder Paul didn’t kill the little bastard; his nerves were so frayed. After that we turned the car inside out to make up the rest. There was a two-pounds coin wedged under the handbrake which Paul’s mom eventually got out with her knitting needle.”
After totalling up what they’d spent, the family realised that they didn’t have enough money left to continue with their holiday plans and managed to limp back home to Newport Pagnell where they lived on baked beans and white bread for the next two weeks.
“Paul did a few extra shifts at Fab-Cabs so we could get back on our feet again. Obviously, the kids were disappointed, but next year we’ve promised to take them to Taunton Deane Services on the M5 and after that maybe down to Gordano. Paul’s mom has since died but she left us enough money in her will to make sure we haven’t got to rob the kids again.”