VANDALS risked their lives by scaling 12ft scaffolding to damage windows of an historic Marton landmark.
Little Marton Windmill at Mereside is surrounded by scaffolding while a £32,000 renovation project, which includes fixing protective thermoplastic windows over the original ones, is carried out.
But a group of teenagers have been spotted climbing up the scaffolding and repeatedly kicking the plexiglass until they managed to crack the window behind.
Ann Allen, chairman of the Friends of Marton Windmill, today warned people to stay off the scaffolidng and pleaded with vandals to leave the windmill alone.
She said: “If they’d fallen they could have broken their neck. They would have had to go up about 12ft to access the window.
“You can see the footprint on the plexiglass which has been kicked so many times it’s hit the glass underneath and cracked it. We are concerned for the safety of these youngsters. You don’t have to fall far to have a nasty injury.
“But we are also trying to preserve the mill for their future. It’s mindless vandalism, it’s criminal.”
A group of teenage boys were seen clambering up the scaffolding on Saturday evening.
Mrs Allen added: “It’s a minority who are ruining it.
“Vandalism is terrible. I just can’t understand why anyone would do this. I’d appeal to the people of Mereside to keep a watchful eye. It’s their mill -– what a wonderful thing to have on their doorstep.”
New windows and doors are being fitted at the Grade II listed building as part of a restoration project, which began last month.
The mound has also been removed from around the foot of the Grade II listed building on Preston New Road in order to tackle damp problems.
Other work includes re-rendering exposed brickwork, replacing rotten timber beams and installing a new disabled toilet.
The cost of the restoration has been met through £20,000 donated from last year’s Clifton ward budget, with the remainder coming from council heritage funds.
Visitors will be able to see the improvements when the mill is opened for a celebration day on Saturday July 23 from 10.30am until 4pm.