MINDLESS vandals defaced a War memorial plaque during a rampage after breaking into Darnhall Village Hall.

Sometime between Monday and 6.20pm on Wednesday, offenders broke into the village hall through its rear door.  Once inside they caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, police confirmed.

Paint normally used for craft activities was sprayed on the walls and floors, including in the disabled toilet.

Vandals also took a brush and used it to paint a War memorial plaque alongside obscenities and other graffiti on the walls.

The words ‘Unlucky WYF’ are written in gold paint near the plaque. WYF was also written in other areas of the building. 

The letters WYF are believed to stand for Wharton Youth Firm. Their ‘tags’ have previously been seen around Winsford.

Sue Langley, Darnhall Parish Council Clerk, said: “It’s just a terrible thing to do, to deface something like that, a war memorial.

"It’s just terrible.”

The offenders went from room to room leaving a trail of destruction behind them.

Ms Langley said: “They ransacked the kitchen. They got things like tea and coffee – things that have been donated to us – and covered it all over the floor.

“There’s cooking oil, tomato sauce, mustard, toilet rolls, rolls of tinfoil – it’s a mess.”

The building is owned by the Darnhall Estate and leased by Darnhall Parish Council.

A small group of volunteers use the building to host classes, events and fundraisers.

Angela Hancock was the first person to discover the damage.

She was due to hold a dance class when she discovered the doors had been broken into around 6.20pm on Wednesday.

After discovering what had happened she notified the police.

Ms Langley said: “She broke down after that. Her family have looked after the village hall for years. She got really upset."

All of the planned events over the weekend have now been cancelled.

Ms Langley said: “I’m just in total disbelief. Why would someone want to do that to a building? At the moment it’s unusable.

“We have bookings at the weeks, we’ve had to cancel them, had to let people down. There’s parties.

"We have bookings going into next week and we may have to cancel those as well.”

Officers are now appealing for information from the public after a village hall was trashed by vandals.

Chief Insp Simon Meegan said: “Darnhall Village hall is a valued community facility used by residents from across the local area, yet these unscrupulous offenders have taken it upon themselves to cause thousands of pounds worth of damage for no other reason than mindless vandalism.

“Investigations into the incident are currently ongoing and we are following a number of lines of enquiry, including forensic.

"As part of the investigation I am keen to hear from anyone who believes that they may have witnessed anything suspicious in the local area.

"I urge anyone with any information in relation to the incident to contact the team here at Northwich on 101 so that the offenders can be brought to justice.”

Anyone with any information in relation to the incident is asked to contact Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 726 of August 9, 2017.

Information can also be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.