Burnham-On-Sea Olympic torch seller faces £15,000 bill for
Burnham-On-Sea Olympic torch bearer who sold her torch for £153,100
on eBay says she faces a £15,000 bill to settle the auction
site's selling fees because the winning bidder has so far failed
to come forward.
Milner Simonds, pictured, has attracted nationwide media coverage
in recent days since controversially placing her official torch
and uniform on eBay to raise money for the community gardening
group The People's Plot.
community gardener - who ran with the flame through Dunster on
Monday (as pictured) - said she was "overjoyed and flabbergasted"
to find the auction had raised £153,100.
since the auction ended at 10.33pm on Sunday after attracting
163 bids, Sarah says the winning bidder has not been in touch
and she fears it may have been a hoax.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "eBay has strict rules stating bids
are legally binding contracts and an invoice has been sent to
the bidder for £153,100, but we have received no response
so far. The
buyer has a 100% positive feedback rating based on previous purchases
but just seems to have disappeared."
is incredibly disappointing not only because The People's Plot
will miss out on this wonderful funding, but because it could
now leave me out-of-pocket too. eBay has already been in contact
asking me to pay the 10 per cent selling fee for the item, amounting
to over £15,000. We just hope that the winning bidder comes
forward and fulfils the deal."
added: "I am thoroughly proud to be representing Burnham
in the torch relay, but rather than look at the torch for years
to come on my mantelpiece I have decided to auction it and put
it to long-term benefit for the community."
to get funding for community groups during the current financial
downturn is incredibly difficult and I see this as a super opportunity."
I saw one torch sold on eBay for over £3,000 at the weekend
I started to think about what good this could do."
added: "I am dismayed that I am getting hateful messages
on eBay from people saying I should not be selling the torch.
They don't understand my motives."
was nominated for my environmental regeneration work with The
People's Plot as a community gardener, so I am just continuing
this. The money will give us an opportunity to run training sessions
and help people across the country. It will help hugely in difficult
want to create practical, long-term benefit from my brief involvement
with the Olympics."
work as a community gardener has seen her visiting hard-to-reach
groups in high density social housing areas across the UK where
she gets people out of their homes, meeting their neighbours,
growing fruit and vegetables.
would then tend the crops together, share the produce and Sarah
would invite local chefs into the gardens to cook - often outdoors
- with the participants, helping them to remove dependency on
ready meals and poor quality food. She did this on disused pieces
of land, creating allotments were once people dumped rubbish.
She also helps them with tackling issues such as neighbour disputes,
noise and isolation along the way.
torch being lit on Monday afternoon during the torch relay
Sarah appearing on BBC1's breakfast programme on Monday morning