Overnight 18th to 19th June we had some very unwelcome and unpleasant visitors to the station site. Vandals decided it was a good idea to smash up several of the wooden benches and picnic tables which we had provided for the benefit of the local community and visitors to the station. Flower pots were also smashed and donated plants thrown about. Our storage shed was broken into and damaged and some of the contents either destroyed or thrown around the site. A fire was started which fortunately did not take hold but did cause some damage.
Having taken steps to rectify the damage, during the evening of 23rd June the vandals returned to the station site, smashing the one remaining wooden picnic bench and causing other damage. Thanks to the vigilance of our neighbours living near the station, these individuals were spotted and the police were called. Two juvenile males were arrested, but a third managed to get away. Over the years we have suffered only small amounts of petty vandalism at the station, but this is by far the most serious. Words cannot describe the mindless people who get pleasure by trying to undo the hard work of others in this way.
Despite these setbacks, the Spetisbury Station Project team has been overwhelmed by the many kind words of support and numerous offers of help and donations from people, businesses and organisations both locally and further afield. Thanks to this support, as well as the generous donations of timber and outdoor furniture, we are already in a position to repair or replace all of the damaged items. Towards the end of its existence, the Somerset & Dorset railway became known as the ‘Sabotaged and Defeated’. We may have been sabotaged, but we’re certainly not defeated!