THE hand of the woman in Blackburn town centre's ‘Grandmother and Child’ statue has been snapped off.

Passers-by stopped to look at the damage to the iconic statue opposite Blackburn Railway Station done by vandals.

It is not known exactly how or when the woman’s hand has become unattached from her body, but it is still grasping the little boy’s arm, who is desperate to pick up his teddy.

Blackburn with Darwen Council promised to fix the bronze statue they said was damaged a couple of weeks ago.

A town centre shopper, Janice Whyte, described it as a ‘terrible shame’.

She said: “If someone has damaged this on purpose then it is awful.

“I look at this statue when I come out of the station a lot and I enjoy it being there.

“People just don’t care about what they do and want to ruin things for other people.

“It must have taken some force to snap it off.”

The £25,000 work, sculpted by Alan Wilson from Henley-on-Thames, was moved from one end of Blackburn Cathedral Garden near Church Street to the other, opposite Blackburn Railway station and near the new bus/train interchange.

The statue was resited as part of the £34million Cathedral Quarter development in 2015.

Frank Robinson, who commutes daily to the town, said: “I remember the teddy bear went missing a long time ago but I’ve never known someone to damage it.

“Maybe someone has leant on it by mistake? I hope its not been damaged on purpose.

“The statue has been a nice welcome for people getting off the train as it is the first thing they see when they step into the town centre.”

Another shopper said: “This is the society we now live in.

“You can’t have anything nice or neat because someone will come along and ruin it."

Cllr Phil Riley, borough regeneration boss, said: “We will get the statue repaired.

“It is clear that it has been subject to vandalism as we do not know how else it could have happened, it is clearly very disappointing.

“The statue stands in an isolated position near the train station.”