The man who created a tree sculpture that sits in Seaton Delaval in honour of the community’s mining history has spoken of his disgust after it was vandalised.
Northumbria Police was informed of the damage – the head of the child miner was removed – and the force is urging anyone with information to get in touch.
The sculpture, which is also a memorial to the victims of the Hester Pit disaster in 1862, is located at the entrance to Astley Park. The incident took place earlier this month.
After agreeing to transform the old tree stump, Seaton Valley Council commissioned artist Tom Newstead and his creation includes representations of an adult miner, the Mary Elder collier ship that transported coal from Seaton Sluice to locations all over the world, lamps, a pit axe, winding gear and a canary. It was unveiled last August.
Tom said: “It is a really disgusting thing to do and it’s terrible for the community.
“I’ve agreed to do a replacement head for the child miner.”
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “At around 8.41am on Wednesday, May 2, we received reports of damage to a sculpture in Astley Park on Park View in Seaton Delaval.
“The wooden sculpture was found to be damaged with the head missing. We believe the head may have been taken away by vandals.
“Anyone who has information relating to this should call police on 101 – quoting log number 168 02/05/18.”