THE dome on Darwen Tower has been vandalised just months after it was put in place.

The tower’s dome blew off during high winds in November 2010.

Apprentice engineers at Darwen metal fabricators WEC designed, produced and replaced the dome free of charge.

But now, the dome has been vandalised, with names and obscenities scratched into the paintwork and marker pen used to write on the windows.

Even a plaque commemorating the donation of the new dome had been written on by the vandals.

A spokesman for WEC said officials will be looking at the damage today to see what can be done.

Darwen Town Council mayor Coun Paul Browne was furious.

He said: “The people who have done this are real scum. It is a disgrace.

“Whoever’s done that wants hauling in front of a magistrate.

“To think young apprentices made this, and it has been defaced by what appears to be young people of this town.

“It is unbelieveable. It is disgusting. I don’t understand what people get out of doing this.”

Kris Mercer, training instructor at the WEC Welding & Engineering Training Academy said: “We are very disappointed that after all the efforts made by young local apprentices in restoring Darwen Tower, people could show so little respect to the local area by vandalizing the new dome.

"It doesn’t really come as a surprise as there was already a lot of graffiti at the top of the tower.

“But it is a shame that it has come to this only two months after it was reopened to the public”

Town councillor Stephen Potter, who is in charge of the newly formed Friends of Darwen Tower group, said: “It is just totally mindless. It is such a shame.

"When you think about all the work and effort that has gone into this and a few mindless morons have wrecked it.”

Couns Browne and Potter have both appealed for anyone with information to report the vandals to the police.

The 900kg traffic grey dome was replaced by a helicopter on Friday, January 13 in a painstaking operation.

It was built by the apprentices at the WEC company as part of their training.