July 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, July 20, 2012
THE historic Nelson’s Monument has come under attack, with vandals scaling its fence and breaking stone from its plinths.
More than £1m was spent on restoring the heritage site - which pre-dates Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London - for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 2005.
But just six months after Nelson’s landing place the jetty was ripped down, the 144ft tall monument has been targeted.
As reported, the jetty was removed by council contractors as the authority said it was too expensive to repair.
Tour guide David Cansick spotted the damage to the monument’s stonework on Sunday, and was saddened by what he saw.
“There were bits of concrete all over the floor and on the pavement outside the perimeter fence,” he said. “It’s probably children.
“They climb over the wall - it’s easy enough - and it doesn’t take much strength to pull the stones off.
“They had thrown them out into the road and had been throwing it around inside.
“We know it’s not just happened by itself.”
The seafront monument, in Fenner Road, was built between 1817 and 1819 to commemorate the Battle of the Nile.
And Mr Cansick said many of the vandalised stones had been laid nearly two centuries ago when the monument was built.
The 70-year-old grandfather is appealing to neighbouring businesses to ring the police if they see the monument under attack.
“Factory workers have said there are kids aged from 11 to 15 years old with skateboards who climb the fence,” he said. “If the people in the factories could keep an eye open and call the police it helps preserve the monument for another 200 years.”
Former fraud investigator Mr Cansick has been a tour guide at the site for almost a decade, and is urging people not to destroy one of the jewels in Yarmouth’s crown.
“I was devastated when they did away with the jetty,” he said. “Yarmouth is a great place with a wonderful heritage, but a lot of people think it’s just a place with amusement arcades.
“A lot of people don’t know what we’ve got here and it’s original stone they’ve been pulling up.
“Kids don’t know the significance of it - when they’re older they might realise what they’ve done.”
The monument, which has 217 steps to the top, is surrounded by a wall and a metal fence with its gate secured with a padlock.
Mr Cansick has also warned the vandals that they are jeapordising their own safety by climbing on the monument.
Click the link to the top right of the story for a photo gallery.