Morecambe electrical firm steps in to sort out vandalised Lancaster city square lights

A Torrisholme-based electrical contractor has stepped in to fix the tree lights destroyed by vandals in Lancaster's Dalton Square.

Thursday, 20th February 2020, 1:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th February 2020, 2:03 pm
Coun Jean Parr, cabinet member for arts, culture, leisure and tourism, with MJ Catterall Ltd managing director Matt Catterall, senior electrician Mark Richardson and apprentice Joe Stackhouse.

MJ Catterall Ltd, based in Lancaster Road, has today, Thursday, been carrying out the work free of charge, having seen the story on the Lancaster Guardian's Facebook page on Tuesday evening.

Lancaster City Council announced the vandalism on Tuesday afternoon, but said that the lights - a popular city attraction in the winter months - wouldn't be repaired for the foreseeable future.

But Matt Catterall, managing director of MJ Catterall Ltd, decided to come to the council's rescue and offer his firm's services.

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The lights in Dalton Square were vandalised.

He said: "We have done bits of work for the council in Dalton Square before and it's just sad to hear that someone had vandalised something that makes the city look good.

"It was mentioned that the council wouldn't be able to find funding to pay for it, and after reading the story I just said to my wife 'I think we should sort it out'.

"We went and had a look at the damage, and it's fairly significant.

"It will take a good couple of days to sort it all out but we think it's worth it."

Matt said he thought that whoever destroyed the lights had been trying to get at the copper wiring.

Some people have said that the lights are part of a project with St John's Hospice, but both the hospice and the council have confirmed that this is not the case.

A spokeswoman for Lancaster City Council said: "The tree lights in Dalton Square were renewed by the council in 2018 to provide a visual attraction for visitors and residents and are unconnected to St John’s Hospice.

"The recent vandalism consisted of digging up and forcing cables and transformers from the tree trunks and leaving them beneath the trees."

Coun Jean Parr, cabinet member for arts, culture, leisure and tourism, said: “A big thank you goes to local electrical contractors, MJ Catterall Ltd who, having heard about the vandalism, very kindly offered their time and expertise free of charge to help bring Dalton Square’s beautiful and much loved lights back to life.”