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Upset after vandals strike at town’s war memorial

Chairman of the friends of Penwortham group Ron Drakeford with the Penwortham War Memorial which was vandalised over the weekend

Chairman of the friends of Penwortham group Ron Drakeford with the Penwortham War Memorial which was vandalised over the weekend

“Mindless vandals” have desecrated a war memorial, months before centenary commemorations of the First World War.

Ron Drakeford, chairman of the Friends of Penwortham War Memorial, said it “looked like a bomb had gone off” at the site in Liverpool Road, Penwortham.

Dozens of plants had been trampled, shrubs pulled up, wreathes crushed, and boxes of wooden memorial crosses thrown around.

Ron said: “I was quite distressed by what I saw when I walked passed on Sunday.

“A lot of hard work has gone into the area by volunteers over the last few years, and money to carry out work has been donated very generously by the Town Council and other local organisations.

“We knew something like this would happen, it’s one of those things, you get drunks coming up from town kicking things around, but it’s a terrible shame.

“The war memorial is a focal point for Penwortham, it’s the first thing you see when you come from town, and a lot of local people feel a sense of pride and ownership.”

Determined not to be defeated, Ron organised a working party to repair the damage on Monday.

He said: “We’ve fought back and although there’s not as many plants as there were before, you wouldn’t know now that anything had happened.”

Police said the damage took place between the evening of Saturday, April 5 and the morning of Sunday, April 6, and are appealing for anyone with information to contact them by phoning 101.

A spokesman for Penwortham Town Council, which is responsible for the site, said: “Penwortham Town Council is very saddened to hear this news, especially because such little crime happens in Penwortham.

“We would support the police appeal for anyone with information on this crime to come forward.”

The Friends of Penwortham War Memorial meet once a month to carry out maintenance work and to attract funding. New members are always welcome.

Anyone who interested in joining the group should email Ron on: rondrakeford@btinternet.com or visit the group’s Facebook page.

 

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