‘MINDLESS’ vandals defaced a display of children’s artwork just one day after it was unveiled at a railway stop.
Youngsters from Dronfield Junior and Infant Schools and from Gorseybrigg Primary created drawings for an exhibition designed to brighten up the beauty spot.
Conservation group Friends of Dronfield Station, responsible for the revamp of the stop, invited the pupils to submit work for new display cases bought with £1,200 of local authority funding.
But just hours after North East Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel and Coun Sue Allsop, of Derbyshire County Council, attended an official launch ceremony vandals daubed the walls of newly-repainted waiting shelters with obscenities and other graffiti.
Mike Penney, of Friends of Dronfield Station, said: “It was very distressing that a project designed to brighten up the gateway to the town, taking up many hours of work from unpaid volunteers should be vandalised in such a mindless way.
“It is especially disappointing for the children who have enthusiastically contributed their artwork to the project.”
The incident has been reported to British Transport Police and CCTV footage from the station is being examined in a bid to catch the perpetrators.
Mr Penney added: “Police have promised to do everything possible to catch the vandals and bring them to justice.”
The pupils’ art was due to be displayed for a number of weeks before being replaced with work from other schools and amateur artists in the community.
The site was restored in 2006 after a group of residents grew fed up with Dronfield’s skeleton train service and a dilapidated railway station.
Since then it has proved a tourist attraction for visitors and won the Association of Community Rail Partnerships’ best station garden last year.
The small team at Friends of Dronfield Station work throughout the year to maintain its gardens and keep it looking good.
n Anyone with information is asked to contact the British Transport Police by calling 0800 405040.