Smashed case which houses tribute to 183 dead children in Sunderland to be repaired

Vandalised Victoria Hall Memorial
Vandalised Victoria Hall Memorial

Repairs will be carried out after vandals smashed a glass case housing a monument which pays tributes to more than 180 Sunderland children who died in a tragedy.

The Echo reported yesterday how a panel in the glass case around the Victoria Hall statue had been smashed by yobs.

Vandalised Victoria Hall Memorial

Vandalised Victoria Hall Memorial

The memorial, which stands in Mowbray Park, pays tribute to 183 youngsters who were killed in a crush when toys were being handed out at a children’s 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.

Vandalised Victoria Hall Memorial

Vandalised Victoria Hall Memorial

Police are investgating the vandalism incident, while council bosses have now said that work will be undertaken to repair the mindless damage.

Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for city services Councillor Michael Mordey said: “Vandalism of a memorial for 183 children who lost their lives in a tragedy at the Victoria Hall in 1883 is unforgiveable.

“We will work with our community safety partners to find those responsible, anti-social behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated in our city.

“Repairs are being made to the damaged viewing panel around the Grade II-listed statue.”

Dozens of readers continued to express their disgust at the attack on the Echo’s Facebook page.

Peter Griffiths wrote: “I worry about the future of this country because there appears to be an increasing number of people who have no respect for anybody or anything including themselves.”

Jacqueline ‘Cairns’ Jollands added: “Outrageous if only people knew why the memorial was there - it could be their relatives who died - very sad that this has been done.”

Amanda Gerry said: “This makes me so angry. Mindless, moronic, disrespectful.

“Doesn’t matter if it’s one pane of glass or the whole thing - it’s vandalism. Two steps forward and three back. Makes you despair.”

Dianne Lish wrote: “It’s a shame that a small minority of morons spoil it for our town. The majority of people in Sunderland are good, honest people.”

And Donna Mary Hooper said: “Absolutely disgusting - no morals whatsoever.”

Anyone with information regarding the vandalism shouls call Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 456 250117.