Puppeteer forced to quit

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The Independent Online
A PUNCH and Judy "professor" says she was forced to pack away her puppets for good after violence from rowdy children became too much.

Deidre Quemby, 43, from Mountsorrel, Leicestershire, had put on her traditional shows for the last nine years until she had enough of youngsters getting out of hand.

She said there were occasions when she was pelted with sandwiches, kicked and punched and subjected to foul language from children. Parents did nothing while their children ran amok.

"Up until a couple of years ago I loved my work, particularly the interaction with the children," she said. "But I was doing more and more private parties where the parents would leave the kids in a room with me. There would be no supervision and that's when the problems started."

The situation became so bad she began taking her husband, John Hayward, to act as a "bouncer".

"Even that didn't work and in the end I thought that for the money I was making it wasn't worth it and I decided to throw in the towel," she said.

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