Appeal to reunite five-year-old with beloved toy lion lost at Letchworth Christmas lights switch-on succeeds in minutes thanks to actions of 10-year-old Scout and power of social media

Five-year-old Archie Banks, reunited with Mikey the Lion thanks to Will Honeysett, 10.

Five-year-old Archie Banks, reunited with Mikey the Lion thanks to Will Honeysett, 10. - Credit: Archant

A five-year-old boy who lost his beloved toy lion at Letchworth’s Christmas lights switch-on tonight is set to be reunited with the little guy after the power of social media saw an appeal through the Comet succeed in minutes.

Father Christmas and his assorted helpers get set for the big switch-on.

Father Christmas and his assorted helpers get set for the big switch-on. - Credit: Archant

Archie Banks’ heartbreak at losing Mikey the lion prompted his mum Kerry to put out an appeal to track him down – and remarkably the response was so fast that Archie went to bed knowing Mikey had been found.

Toy-mad Will Honeysett, a 10-year-old member of the 8th Letchworth Scouts, had spotted the lion being trampled underfoot in the town centre at about 6pm and insisted on taking him home, upset that another child might be missing it. Archie is set to get him back in the morning.

Kerry told the Comet: “We were putting Archie to bed when we told him Mikey had been found. He was just in shock and over the moon.

“I was amazed. I told Will’s mum Tina how incredible it was that I had just sent an email to the Comet and now he was found.

Will Honeysett, 10, with Mikey the lion. Photo: Tina Cornish.

Will Honeysett, 10, with Mikey the lion. Photo: Tina Cornish. - Credit: Archant


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“I hadn’t held out much hope that he would be found, if I’m honest – it’s just amazing.

“It’s nice to know there’s some Christmas spirit still!”

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Will’s mum Tina Cornish said: “Will’s mad about soft toys and he was truly upset that the lion was getting squished and that a little boy or girl would be missing it.

“He was just doing his good turn of the day. We’re so pleased to find the owner so quickly.”

Tina posted Mikey’s photo on the Love Letchworth Facebook group at 6.20pm in an attempt to trace its owner.

Kerry contacted the Comet an hour later, and just after 8pm we made an appeal on our website and social media channels to find the lion.

Tina’s friend Sandra Jarman saw our posting of the appeal on Facebook – and in minutes Tina and Kerry were in touch.

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