STONEMASONS in Blackburn are creating a new leg for a much-loved statue that was damaged by vandals.

Flora, in Corporation Park, was broken in September when vandals smashed off the right leg in an overnight attack.

Workers at Brent Stevenson Memorials in Blackburn have now inserted a piece of stone where the missing leg should be and have begun carving to make the shape of the leg.

Blackburn with Darwen Council requested the work be carried out, which will cost almost £3,000.

To ensure the leg is the right shape, workmen will refer to old photographs.

The statue was removed by the firm in December and was allowed to dry out before work began.

Brent Stevenson, owner of the family firm in Preston Old Road, said: “The work will take a couple of mon-ths but we don’t know exactly how long it will take.

“We just do a couple of hours at a time and then take a break and come back and look at it again.

“It isn’t the only job we have over the next two months so it will take time.”

“It is never ideal to work like this as the original piece was carved entirely from one big piece of material.

“But we will get it looking as close to the original as possible.”

Mr Stevenson said; “Flora has been through the wars a bit over the years. She has had her head knocked off a couple of times and various other body parts damaged.

“We will check all the other joints as well and clean her up as good as we can before putting her back.”

Flora was presented to the park in 1871 by well-known monumental mason Thomas Harvey Fairhurst.

She was created by artist Thomas Allen, who moved to Blackburn in 1870 and provided several pieces of art.”