Vandals spoiled Christmas for youngsters at Bingham Day Nursery by damaging and stealing their festive outdoor decorations.
The culprits cut through electrical cable to steal a waving snowman and pulled the moving heads off two reindeer decorations that were with other illuminations near carparking spaces at the nursery on Long Acre.
They also burnt through the rope lighting used to decorate a tree near the entrance to the premises.
The vandals struck between 1.30am and 7.30am on Saturday.
The nursery’s joint owner, Mrs Denea Hardy, said: “This is done for the children. Basically they have destroyed their Christmas.
“It’s a shame you can’t do this kind of thing without it being ruined.
“All it has done is upset the children.”
The display had attracted the attention of the judges for Bingham’s festive window competition.
It won the services sector category of the competition for a second consecutive year.
Mrs Hardy found the damaged decorations dumped on the carpark.
She spent a couple of hours on Saturday repairing the display, including replacing the heads on the reindeer, with the help of the day nursery’s caretaker Mr Michael Waring and residents living nearby.
Mrs Hardy said the damage had fused the whole display, which they put up at the end of November.
An electronic snowman that waved with his hat was taken.
Mrs Hardy said it was particularly popular with the children who went to see him at the end of the day.
She thought the culprits may have been drinking beforehand and hoped they did not mean to cause so much damage.
She estimated around £100-worth of damage was caused, but was more concerned about it upsetting youngsters at the nursery.
Mrs Hardy said the vandalism waspointless.
She said: “I hope someone is feeling very remorseful somewhere and suffering from a very bad hangover.
“The snowman is going to be lying somewhere because they won’t be able to use it.”
Mrs Hardy is appealing for anyone who spots the snowman to return it to the nursery.
She said the nursery’s outdoor Christmas display attracted a lot of visitors and the vandalism would not deter them from putting them up in the future.
More by this authorPeter Harris