AN Atherton firm has answered Bolton Sea Cadets' call for help in transporting a model minesweeper 209 miles back to Bolton.

The cadets issued the Save Our Ship plea after accepting the 29ft by 12ft wooden minesweeper as a present from Cromer Navel Association.

But the Journal's sister newspaper, the Bolton Evening News told last week how cadet commanders were all at sea over how to get the ship -- complete with mock guns and a funnel -- back home up the M1.

Now bosses at Austin Wilkinson and Son Ltd, from Atherton, have stepped in to help.

They will send a low-loading lorry down to Norfolk next week and bring the boat back to Bolton -- completely free of charge.

Assistant manager James Wilkinson said: "We read the story in the Bolton Evening News and thought, 'that's no problem. It just needs someone with a bit of nouse'.

"People in the haulage company are very friendly and we were happy to help."

And delighted Cadet Commanding Officer Brian Stubbs said: "We are thrilled to bits that someone has come to our rescue."

Bolton Sea Cadets will use the model minesweeper as a carnival float. It will also be used to promote the cause and attract new members.