April 05, 2011 09:03:00 GMT
After more than 10,000 costumes were destroyed in a suspected arson attack, Flame Theatrical Costumes owner says, 'It took me 45 years to build up the collection and now it's gone, just like that.'
One of Britain's largest costume collections, which included military uniforms worn in "The King's Speech", has been destroyed in a fire. Flame Theatrical Costumes in Devon, England was burned down in a suspected arson attack on Saturday, April 2.
Owner Lionel Digby lost more than 10,000 costumes in the blaze, including original clothing from the 19th century. He says, "It took me 45 years to build up the collection and now it's gone, just like that. Some of the military uniforms you just can't get any more..."
"Everything went up. All of it is key stuff. The uniforms are from the Roman era upwards. Everything you can think of is in there. It is irreplaceable and if you lose part of a uniform you can't hire it out, it needs to be a complete set."
More than 50 firefighters were called to put out the blaze.
Christopher Donnachie appeared in court on Monday, April 4, charged with arson and burglary. The 29-year-old was remanded in custody.