Pub thrilled with public response after vandalism

A community has rallied round after a set of plant pots outside a pub were smashed.

Vandals tipped the 11 pots off a wall next to The Badger in Ponteland in the early hours of Saturday morning.

They were only put in place recently by its part-time gardener Ken Witherall, a 71-year-old former paratrooper, to help improve the appearance of the area by the establishment.

Pub manager and manageress Peter and Joanna Drummond reported the damage to Northumbria Police and they posted photographs of the damage on social media.

As well as angry comments, there have been dozens of supportive messages and some offers of assistance.

Mr Drummond said: “Each plant pot was smashed individually and we’re absolutely disgusted by the actions of the idiots that did this vandalism.

“But the amazing response has shown the strength of our community.

“People from Ponteland and Darras Hall came along on Sunday with plant pots we could use and the Dobbies garden centre next to us offered to provide some new plants. In addition, Ponteland Rugby Club offered to pay for the replacement of the pots.

“We’re probably the first place you notice when people drive to Ponteland from Newcastle and so appearance is important. The display was back up again on Sunday and many people have said that it looks lovely.

A police spokesman said: “At 8.20am on Saturday, officers were informed that plants and plant pots had been damaged outside The Badger in Street Houses, Ponteland.

“Officers are carrying out enquiries into the damage and asking any witnesses to get in contact. Anyone with information should ring Northumbria Police on 101, ext 69191, quoting reference 356 250415, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”