VANDALS who have targeted Hucknall’s iconic mining statue have been branded “disrespectful” to the brave men who served in the town’s former collieries.
Lights around the base of the monument on Station Road have been smashed. It’s the latest in a long line of petty attacks.
Now a well-known Hucknall resident, who has asked not to be named, has fired a broadside at the culprits.
He said: “It is a sad indictment when respect cannot be shown for the former miners of Hucknall, some of whom gave their lives to bring up coal to keep this country moving.”
The statue, which features a bare-chested miner holding a pickaxe and standing on a Davy lamp, was unveiled in 2005.
It stands 22 feet tall, is made from bronze and was created by sculptor Graham Ibbeson. The monument cost £78,000, which was mainly funded by Tesco through a condition imposed by Ashfield District Council when it gave permission for the firm to build its superstore on Ashgate Road.
Since then, the statue hasn’t suffered any major damage.
But low-level vandalism has been a regular problem.
Marker pens have been used to graffiti the plinth, which has also been chipped. A brass plaque was stolen and has not been replaced. A car tyre was placed around the neck of the main miner and a pitman who features inside the Davy lamp has been regularly smeared with tomato sauce.
Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, who is deputy leader of Ashfield Council, said: “I am not very happy. This statue is in commemoration of a lot of people who have put in a lot of hard work at the pits to make this town what it is today.
“We will have to get it repaired as quickly as possible.
“It is essential that those responsible for this are caught and punished.
“There have been some problems at the statue but we are fortunate that most locals look at it as a fantastic memorial. It’s upsetting to know that there are those out there who do not respect what it stands for.”
Anyone with information on the vandal attacks or anyone who spots the statue being targeted is asked to call the police on 0300 3009999. Alternatively, ring the free and confidential Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.