Manor Park mural vandalised – hours after being created
Saturday 12th August 2017 09:24 Glossop Chronicle News Posted by Adam Higgins

A mural that was decorated by young volunteers as a show of support for victims of the Manchester terror attack has been vandalised – within hours of it being finished. 

Youngsters from the Glossop branch of the National Citizen Service (NCS) spent two whole days painting the Manchester worker bee symbol and a positive message for local charity Reuben’s Retreat on the skate park at Manor Park, as a nice gesture for the 22 people who died in the Manchester Arena bombing on May 22.

But, just three hours after the artwork had been completed on Wednesday afternoon, a group of male youths were seen spray painting it with what has been described as racist graffiti.

The police were immediately informed and investigations are ongoing, with no arrests made as of yet.

They say the random act of criminal damage happened sometime between 6:45pm and 7pm on August 9.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information which could help police with their enquiries is asked to call 101, quoting reference number 17000340676, with PCSO Amy McKeever the officer in charge.

Molly Gradwell, from Simmondley, is one of the volunteers who had been working on the mural.

She said: “A group of around 10 of us spent around 12 hours over the two days painting the skate park and making it look as good as we could. Everyone was very upset and angry when they found out through our Facebook group. I can’t understand why anyone would want to damage it.”

Since the damage was inflicted, community spirit has once again come to the fore and local people have rallied round with kind gestures on social media offering to buy more paint to restore the mural.

A relation  of a local spray paint artist contacted the Chronicle to say that he painted the faces at the side of the Manchester Bee but did nothing else.

And he denied claims that the images were racist or could be classed as criminal damage.

The relative said: “He is keen on African art, which is what the faces are, they are not racist.

“The ramp is where people spray paint,  as well as use it for skateboarding.

“He wås upset when he found his work had been spray painted over and painted the faces.

“He did not realise the significance of the Manchester Bee, when he did he went on Facebook to apologise.”

It’s believed the artist, 23,  has also offered to ‘put things right’.

The mural is one of a number of activities the NCS have been involved in recently, having also taken part in bag packing at Tesco, held a music event at the Commercial Inn and a fun afternoon in Manor Park to raise money for Reuben’s Retreat.

Held every year, the NCS is open to all 15 to 17 year olds, which allows youngsters to experience volunteering and receive a qualification at the end of the programme.

The Glossop branch mainly consists of Year 10 and 11 pupils from Glossopdale Community College and St Philip Howard Voluntary Academy.


Main picture:

Before and after: The mural decorated with the Manchester worker bee (left) and a tribute to Reuben’s Retreat which has been vandalised (right)