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Burnley business owners praised for clean up operation after mindless vandals ditch doors, windows and broken glass on children's park

Stephen Whittaker and Martin Simpson have been thanked for swooping into action to clean a park up after vandals dumped old doors, windows and glass on children's play equipment.
Stephen Whittaker and Martin Simpson have been thanked for swooping into action to clean a park up after vandals dumped old doors, windows and glass on children's play equipment.
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Two businessmen, who spent hours clearing a children's park after mindless vandals dumped old doors and broken windows on play equipment, have been hailed as heroes.

Stephen Whittaker and Martin Simpson sprang into action on Sunday morning when they saw the scene of devastation and play equipment covered in broken glass on the Queen Street play area in Briercliffe, Burnley.

The park is just a few hundred yards away from their business, Burnley Windows, and the duo were horrified to discover the culprits had scaled a gate to get into their compound where they broke the lock on a skip where the doors and windows had been placed.

Stephen said: "They have somehow managed to drag the doors and windows out of the compound and across fields before throwing them on the park.

"As soon as we heard what had happened we went up there and began to clear the park up.

"Broken glass where children play is potentially lethal so we didn't hestitate.

"We both grew up in this area and we know how well used the park so we just wanted to do our bit to help especially as the items had been stolen from our compound."

Photographs of the kind hearted duo in the middle of the clean up operation were posted on social media and dozens of people, including Briercliffe Parish Council, praised and thanked them for their efforts.

Parish councillor Pam Vincent said: "We are really grateful to the owners of Burnley Windows who started the clear up operation as soon as they saw what the vandals had done.

"This was a dreadful thing to happen but when I saw what they were doing at least something positive came out of this."

The duo were also given a vote of thanks from Burnley Council who sent staff to the site on Sunday to begin the clear up operation.

The spokesman said: "When we sent a member of our team to inspect the park staff from Burnley Windows were already there cleaning it up.

"On behalf of the council, I would like to say a massive thank you.

"The action of this local business was truly uplifting in the face of such mindless vandalism.

"The park was re-opened quickly and is safe to use."

The incident has been reported to the police and it is hoped that footage from CCTV at Queen Street Mill may provide some clues to the identity of the culprits.