'Disgraceful' vandals torch Darwen beauty spot benches

This Is Lancashire: Catherine Waddicor of the Friends of Ashleigh Barrow surveys the damage with Coun Karimeh Foster Catherine Waddicor of the Friends of Ashleigh Barrow surveys the damage with Coun Karimeh Foster

ARSONISTS have torched benches at a popular historic beauty spot in a ‘disgraceful act of wanton vandalism’.

It is suspected youths set fire to the picnic table and benches in Ashleigh Barrow, Darwen, in the early hours of yesterday morning.

It comes after years of hard work by volunteers in transforming the historic barrow, a manmade mound to cover an ancient burial ground, off Ashleigh Street in the picturesque Whitehall area of the town.

All of what remained of one the benches donated to the Friends of Ashleigh Barrow by local firm Crown Paints, was charred remains.

Friends of Ashleigh Barrow chairwoman Catherine Waddicor, who lives across the road, said she heard youths messing around in the area at 3am. She said: “I heard noises of a group of people and wondered why they were out at that time.

“There were four of them and they were all about 15 or 16. I heard someone shout the name ‘Mark’.

“It makes me so mad. It is really disheartening.

“Everyone has worked really hard to get it to the state it is in now and lots of children play on here.”

Whitehall town councillor John East said: “It is upsetting after all the hard work people have put in and it spoils it for everyone.

“This is a disgraceful act of wanton vandalism.

“Hopefully we can get it restored but it is very disappointing in the Whitehall area where we have a good community working together. It is soul-destroying for the groups who are coming together to improve areas like this.”

Whitehall borough councillor Karimeh Foster said: “It is frightening to think we have these people running around looking for things to damage. We have had reports of problems on the barrow before but this is awful, especially for the people who have worked hard to improve this place.”

Coun Jim Smith, Executive Member for Environment, said: “This is a disgraceful and highly dangerous act of vandalism and I urge anyone with information to get in touch with Crimestoppers so we can bring those responsible to justice.”

Comments (6)

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3:38pm Wed 25 Jun 14

the beaver says...

Think its time the Police are given the power to give these lowlifes a good hiding. They need to be taught a little respect. It used to happen back in the day when everyone looked out for each other.
Think its time the Police are given the power to give these lowlifes a good hiding. They need to be taught a little respect. It used to happen back in the day when everyone looked out for each other. the beaver
  • Score: 36

7:05pm Wed 25 Jun 14

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

Some people might disagree with this but a lot of the blame should be put on the parents if they work out who did this too!

At 15 - 16 my parents knew exactly where I was at 3am and even on a weekend or school holiday that was always asleep safe in bed!
Some people might disagree with this but a lot of the blame should be put on the parents if they work out who did this too! At 15 - 16 my parents knew exactly where I was at 3am and even on a weekend or school holiday that was always asleep safe in bed! HelmshoreMan2010
  • Score: 27

10:08pm Wed 25 Jun 14

stressed'68 says...

I hung round with big groups of kids and can honestly say,we were model citizens,even as teenagers! My own kids would never hang around with people with the mentality to vandalize,it makes me proud to absolutely know the characters of my children well enough to say that...they were kept by my side into their teens,they didn't always like it,but,the pay off there too is that they will bring their kids up the same way! Too many people allow their kids to be feral from a very young age and this is where it starts!!!!
I hung round with big groups of kids and can honestly say,we were model citizens,even as teenagers! My own kids would never hang around with people with the mentality to vandalize,it makes me proud to absolutely know the characters of my children well enough to say that...they were kept by my side into their teens,they didn't always like it,but,the pay off there too is that they will bring their kids up the same way! Too many people allow their kids to be feral from a very young age and this is where it starts!!!! stressed'68
  • Score: 9

6:15am Thu 26 Jun 14

oldnorm says...

If they are caught, put their names and photos in the local paper. One thing those local idiots dread is people knowing who they are.Hope they are caught and made to replace the damage.
If they are caught, put their names and photos in the local paper. One thing those local idiots dread is people knowing who they are.Hope they are caught and made to replace the damage. oldnorm
  • Score: 9

8:22am Thu 26 Jun 14

gags2 says...

Why are the comments took of about the vandalism in the bold venture park
Why are the comments took of about the vandalism in the bold venture park gags2
  • Score: 2

12:54pm Thu 26 Jun 14

onsidecobra says...

Clean up the mess, erect a concrete plinth complete with stocks and put these morons in them.
Clean up the mess, erect a concrete plinth complete with stocks and put these morons in them. onsidecobra
  • Score: 4
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