A BRILLIANT wooden Christmas nativity scene in Raglan, which was stolen last year, has burnt down a year later on Christmas Eve.

The festive bus stop, funded by the Beaufort Hotel in the village and put together by retired theatre design lecturer and resident Liz Friendship, has had terrible misfortune since it was thought up in 2018.

Ms Friendship explained: “In 2018 Mary was taken, in 2019 two shepherds were stolen and never came back, and in 2020 it’s burnt down.

“It’s now just three kings staring at the bus stop. It’s very sad.

“But it hasn’t dampened our Christmas spirit. It’s a lovely community and while it’s a shame, I know people appreciate the sentiment and the efforts we’ve put in this year.”

The fire occurred at around 10pm on Christmas Eve, but it is not known at this time if the incident is being treated as suspicious.


Owner of the Beaufort Hotel Miguel Santiago said: “It was late on Christmas Eve, on the same day we’d put it up, when I saw it engulfed.

“Fortunately I was at the hotel and put it out as soon as I saw it, but by then much of the damage had been done. I couldn’t believe it.

“It’s a shame because so much effort went into putting it together this year. Liz and I were committed to bringing it back even better after last year’s problems, and we had brought it back better.

“We added three kings which really made it a great sight, we made sure the figures couldn’t be taken, and we put CCTV in the bus stop.

“It’s hugely unfortunate again, but we will do what we can to make it better again for next year – and maybe in a different location.”

Monmouth MS Nick Ramsay, who supplies the electrics and lighting for the nativity each year, praised those who work hard to bring the nativity to Raglan each year.

“I know how much went into this nativity this year, and the importance of things like the nativity became even greater after the year we’ve had,” he said.

“There are a lot of people on board helping bring it to life, and it’s a reminder of how brilliant this village is.”

Mr Santiago is asking for any witnesses to call the Beaufort Hotel directly.