Memorial to 183 Sunderland children who died in Victoria Hall Disaster smashed up by vandals

Vandals have attacked a historic memorial which commemorates the lives of more than 180 Sunderland children killed in the Victoria Hall Disaster.

A glass panel which is part of the memorial was smashed overnight.

Damage to the Victoria Hall memorial in Mowbray Park, Sunderland.

Damage to the Victoria Hall memorial in Mowbray Park, Sunderland.

The monument, which stands in Mowbray Park, pays tribute to 183 youngsters who were killed in a crush when toys were being handed out at a childrens variety show, on June 16, 1883.

More than 2,000 people were present for the show, which sadly turned to tragedy.

A door in the hall at the bottom of the stairs from the gallery had been bolted ajar, leaving just enough space – 22 inches – for one person to squeeze through at a time

Many Sunderland families lost two or more children, and all 30 from one Sunday School party were killed.

Damage to the Victoria Hall memorial in Mowbray Park, Sunderland.

Damage to the Victoria Hall memorial in Mowbray Park, Sunderland.

No-one was ever blamed for the bolting of the door, despite two inquests being held, although a lack of caretakers to “preserve order” was criticised by officials.

The tribute was put inside the glass casing after it was vandalised.

Echo reader Daniel Linton snapped a picture of the damage.

He said: “Walking through Mowbray Park today and someone has smashed the glass of the Victoria Hall memorial, disgusting considering what it stands for.”

Damage to the Victoria Hall memorial in Mowbray Park, Sunderland.

Damage to the Victoria Hall memorial in Mowbray Park, Sunderland.