'Overwhelming' support after vandals target festive display

Jane Gowland with the broken reindeer.
Jane Gowland with the broken reindeer.

The woman who set up a fund-raising drive after a Christmas lights display in Alnwick was vandalised has said she is overwhelmed at its success.

As reported by the Gazette yesterday, vandals targeted the festive display, created each year by Jane Gowland at Column Cottage, at the junction of Bondgate Within and Prudhoe Street, opposite the war memorial, knocking items over, pulling plugs out of sockets and breaking a reindeer beyond repair.

And as well as sparking anger on social media, with many people criticising those responsible, it inspired one woman, Caroline Curran, to try to help. She set up a Go Fund Me page to try to raise £500 to replace the broken Christmas lights, collecting £560 in less than a day, thanks to the generosity of 60 people.

Caroline told the Gazette: "I'm overwhelmed at the speed with which the fund grew and surpassed the target. I've closed the fund online and I'll be in touch with the Kiddies Kabin to collect any donations that may have been left there. I'm organising a cheque for Jane through the Go Fund Me page and once I receive it I'll meet Jane and give it to her."

On the page, she posted: 'A huge thank you to everyone not only for their donation but the kind words of encouragement for Jane. It's unbelievable how the community have come together. As we have surpassed target I have decided to close the fund down. Jane will now have enough to replace all of the damaged lights and wiring. My heartfelt thanks to everyone. Caroline. X'