Yobs who trash memorial area are ‘despicable’

Gardener and caretaker Jane Richardson, Parish Council Chairman Tom Scott, Edith Hood from Shilbottle and Hampeth Forum and parish councillors May Mills, Celia Lewis and Elisabeth Haddow with the vandalised plaque in Shilbottle Memorial Garden.
Gardener and caretaker Jane Richardson, Parish Council Chairman Tom Scott, Edith Hood from Shilbottle and Hampeth Forum and parish councillors May Mills, Celia Lewis and Elisabeth Haddow with the vandalised plaque in Shilbottle Memorial Garden.

Disgusting, despicable and a complete lack of respect – this is the damning verdict of yobs who wreaked havoc in a village’s memorial garden, just hours before its Remembrance Sunday commemorations.

Shilbottle Parish Council vice-chairman Elisabeth Haddow could not believe her eyes on Sunday morning when she discovered that the area, which pays tribute to fallen war heroes and miners, had been trashed through the night.

A plaque had been wrenched off its plinth, stamped on and thrown into the bushes, while a steel arch, which depicts mining equipment, was vandalised. One of the shovels on the display was yanked off and a miners hat snapped.

On top of that, a hexagonal seating area and block paving were pulled out of place.

Coun Haddow said: “It is despicable. It is not something against the village but it is something against the people who fought for this country and worked in the mines to keep the village and the war efforts going.”

Coun Haddow said the vandalism was done through brute force and the repair bill is likely to be large.

She came across the damage while she was getting the area ready before the village’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations.

A service was held in St James’ Church before a parade to the memorial garden.