A nautical nod to the Parkham WI

A former ship's captain held hostage by Somali pirates got a red-faced welcome from fancy dress pirates at a Devon Women's Institute (WI).

The Parkham WI thought Colin Darch was going to be speaking to them about piracy, not realising he was held hostage for 47 days in 2008.

"They were more embarrassed than me," said Mr Darch, 75.

WI treasurer Steph George, 54, said: "He was such a good sport, but we won't be dressing up again for a while."

It was embarrassing but he was such a great chap and he wasn't offended”

The WI group has dressed up to match guest speakers' themes in the past.

So when Mrs George heard that Mr Darch was going to talk about piracy, she and the 14 other members of the group decided they knew what to wear.

"I unfortunately thought it would be a good idea to dress up as pirates," said Mrs George.

"Mr Darch came in and said he had been held hostage by Somali pirates.

"It was embarrassing, but he was such a great chap and he wasn't offended."

Mr Darch, from Appledore, said: "They were a bit nonplussed, but it didn't bother me. They had all made an effort.

"Most of them seemed to be wearing false moustaches and funny hats, it looked like a rehearsal for Pirates of Penzance.

Taken from BBC online.

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