THE culprit who has defaced Saddleworth’s iconic Pots and Pans war memorial has been condemned for “thoughtless vandalism”.
The Independent investigated after being alerted to the mindless act of graffiti at the obelisk erected on top of Alderman’s Hill.
The name Paul has been scratched or chalked onto the Grade II listed monument which commemorates Saddleworth’s fallen during the First and Second World Wars.
Oldham Council, responsible for the memorial’s upkeep, confirmed they have been alerted to the graffiti. They are also looking to renovate the structure which is showing noticeable signs of ageing.
A spokesperson said: ““We are currently renovating all of Oldham’s war memorials and have completed Oldham, St Chad’s and Crompton in the last few years.
“As war memorials are listed structures we have to obtain suitable funding and then obtain the correct permissions before we can undertake any work.
“We will continue to seek the funding to enable this restorative work to be undertaken at the earliest opportunity.
“We do however ask that if anyone has any knowledge of the culprit(s) on this or any other memorial it will be treated as criminal damage with the appropriate consequences.”
The hill top stone ‘needle’ with commanding views of Saddleworth and beyond, is a popular destination for walkers and mountain bikers.
It is also the backdrop to the annual Remembrance Day service, hundreds of people, often braving rainy and freezing conditions, as they walk to the lofty spot.
Councillor Jamie Curley, new chair of Saddleworth Parish Council, said: “This is thoughtless vandalism, especially as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bravery of the forces on D Day who brought about the freedom that ‘Paul’ now enjoys.
“I hope whoever did this has a conscience and realises the stupidity of their act.”
The monument’s foundation stone was laid on May 19, 1923 by Mrs G A.Schofield. The architect was Gilbert Howcroft and the builder C Winterbottom.
Construction work took around five months with the project costing around £2,000.