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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Parents watch as children hurl stones at museum windows

The boss of a museum has spoken of her shock after young children hurled stones at the building while their parents stood watching.

Pamela Telford photo
Pamela Telford

The youngsters smashed one of the new windows at Haig Colliery Mining Museum at Kells, Whitehaven, which is currently undergoing a £2.4 million revamp.

Museum manager Pamela Telford has reported their actions to police and from next month there will be CCTV and security lights installed at the site.

Mrs Telford said: “We saw some children throwing stones at the windows and shouted at them to go away. They were only little boys – primary school age – and were with two women with pushchairs.

“After they went, we went and checked the windows and one was smashed.

“It is a bit disheartening when something like this happens but, generally speaking, we have had a lot of support from the local community and we haven’t had a lot of vandalism.”

It’s not just a case of replacing the glass in the window, as the whole panel must be removed as the museum is working under the guidance of English Heritage because it is an ancient monument.

Museum staff are also having to speak to youngsters who are hanging around the museum, to warn them of the dangers of a building site.

“The children are curious to see what’s going on, but they need to be aware of the dangers,” added Mrs Telford.

The museum has been closed for the past eight months while the major works are carried out by Flimby firm Thomas Armstrong. The museum, and a new visitor centre, are expected to be open to the public in time for Christmas.

As news spread through the town of the vandalism, people vented their anger through social media.

Nikki Bridson said: “That’s mindless. You (Haig bosses) are trying so hard to improve the area and create a wonderful museum and louts go and spoil it.”

And Christine Curtin wrote: “So annoying and with adults looking on.”

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