With days to go before the children returned after lockdown, it was with real disappointment that on the 1st of September 2020 opportunist trespassers decided to break into our workshop without much thought or care. They damaged the locks on our main door, damaged the door and frame to force it open, and destabilised the wall. They then smashed the windowpane to gain access. The sound of breaking glass alerted resident staff and it appears the burglars took fright and left.
The incident was swiftly attended by West Mercia Police. The window was boarded up and door secured with the very generous support of staff from The Downs Malvern who came to the rescue. Fortunately our workshop was in rather a mess. Any attempt to find something meaningful to steal would have taken them some time!! The security of our locomotives and rolling stock in adjacent buildings were unaffected since the keys for these buildings are not kept on site.
Our principle team of volunteers and trustees were back at the railway in preparation to receiving the first group of children. A clean up and repairs were carried out. The panes of glass are very thick, so some force was required to break the window. Many shards of glass were found all over the place!
In February 2020, we were granted planning consent to replace our buildings. Until we are in a position to replace them, we are hoping the existing buildings hold out. So incidents like this do not help. Fortunately, nothing was taken and all we have is lots of shards of glass to sweep up as we start preparing for the return of children to the Downs Light Railway.