Fred leaves the donkeywork behind and retires t Devon

PUBLISHED: 05:25 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 24 May 2010

A DONKEY known and loved by scores of villagers in and around Congresbury has sadly left the field he has lived in for nearly 30 years. Fred the donkey's unmistakable braying call has been heard above the traffic in his field near the bus stop in the midd

A DONKEY known and loved by scores of villagers in and around Congresbury has sadly left the field he has lived in for nearly 30 years.Fred the donkey's unmistakable braying call has been heard above the traffic in his field near the bus stop in the middle of the village for 28 years.Fred's friends would visit him from far and wide - one women would even drive from Burnham every week to give him a carrot and perhaps some of his favourite food - Liquorice Allsorts.But villagers will no longer be able to walk through Congresbury and give him a pat on the head and a carrot on the way to the shops. The time has come for the distinctive white donkey to depart his field and he now been handed over to a sanctuary near Sidmouth.Fred was six months old when Tony and Dorothy Snook bought him for £250 at a charity auction held by Cheddar Vale Lions Club at the Webbington Hotel in 1978. He was auctioned off by Don Trapnell, the owner of many of Weston's donkeys who give rides to children on the beach.The Snooks, of Verlands, Congresbury, housed him in a field they own on the corner of Smallway near the traffic lights in the middle of the village.Tony, who became very attached to Fred, has put up a sign on the gate explaining to disappointed visitors that he is no longer there. Unfortunately Fred had too many ailments and the only option was to hand him over to the sanctuary.Tony said: "He is sadly missed by so many people - he never left that field and people would come and see him every day, I wouldn't be surprised if he had met everyone in the village."People would even leave notes rolled up in the lock in the gate letting me know he had sores on his head."We all miss him, but the sanctuary is wonderful. He is living with two donkeys called Solomon and Peter, so if the religious connotations in those names are anything to go by he should be okay.

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