Tribute to Preston’s First World War effort damaged by vandals

Vandalism to the Free Buffet mural at Preston Railway Station
Vandalism to the Free Buffet mural at Preston Railway Station
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A mural to commemorate Preston’s unique contribution to the First World War effort has been damaged by vandals.

In March last year, the waiting room at the city’s railway station was re-decorated, with vinyl transfers showing soldiers enjoying refreshments.

It’s a shame the display wasn’t treated with the respect it deserves.

Organised by members of the Preston Remembers group, the artwork was to remind travellers of the Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Free Buffet, where over 400 female volunteers worked in teams for 12 hour shifts to provide the servicemen with food and drink in what is now the station waiting room.

Now, just months before the centenary of the inception of the Free Buffet on August 19, vandals have scratched the head off a vinyl soldier on the wall.

A spokesman for Preston Council, which is responsible for the Preston Remembers group, said: “We will be assessing the damage caused with a view to repairing the design.

“It’s a shame the display wasn’t treated with the respect it deserves.

“This is, after all, a very important story in Preston’s history and in its anniversary year.”

Virgin Trains, which manages the station, declined to give an official commentwhen approached b the Evening Post.

However, it is known that they are aware of the damage and have made contact with the Museum of Lancashire, whose staff with will replacing the artwork.

No time-frame for the repair has been given.