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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Zero tolerance for Whitehaven museum vandalism

Mindless damage to an iconic museum will not be tolerated, a long-standing councillor has warned.

Haig museum photo
Stones were thrown at Haig Colliery Mining Museum

The News & Star reported this week how schoolchildren hurled stones at the Haig Colliery Mining Museum at Kells, Whitehaven, smashing windows.

The museum is currently undergoing a £2.4m revamp and from next month CCTV and security lighting will be installed in a bid to prevent any further damage.

Museum manager Pamela Telford spoke of her shock following the attack and Kells councillor George Clements has now spoken of his disgust.

“The museum is going to be a showcase when it’s finished,” he said. “The amount of work that has been put into it by Pamela and the volunteers, it’s beyond comprehension that some mindless people actually get fun out of doing things like this – it can’t be tolerated.

“This is going to raise the aspirations of the people of Kells when it’s up and running and will be something people will be proud of.

“I just can’t begin to say how disappointed I am that the youth of today are doing this and get pleasure from it but hopefully we can move on from it and stop it happening again.”

When staff spotted the children – who were primary school age and with two women with pushchairs – throwing the stones at the windows, they shouted at them to go away.

However, they then spotted that one of the windows had been smashed.

And 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.

Police are appealing for anyone who sees anything suspicious in the area, or knows anything about the incident, to contact the force on 101 and speak to the local police community support officer for Kells, Simon Kane.

“It is important for members of the public to report any incidents to the police so that we are able to tackle any ongoing issues,” said a force spokeswoman.

The museum has been closed for the past eight months while the major works are carried out.

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