Vandals have defaced a sculpture installed in memory of a popular community champion and cyclist.

The two identical works of art have taken pride of place on the roundabout which links Whitmore Road and Dartmouth Avenue, in The Westlands, for months.

They were installed in memory of Brian Tomkins who died after collapsing near his Chapel Chorlton home in 2018.

But one of the two sculptures has been daubed with coloured paint sometime over the Christmas period.



The new art installation on Whitmore roundabout
The new art installation on Whitmore roundabout

Now residents living near the roundabout have condemned the vandal attack.

Qasim Mir, aged 35, of Newcastle, said: “It’s a real shame, especially when it’s been put there for a good reason and in memory of someone. I don’t know who would do something like this over the Christmas and New Year period.”

Dog walker Sarah Blake, aged 28, from Newcastle, added: “The sculptures are lovely and brighten the place up so it’s awful to see someone has vandalised one of them. It’s just mindless and must be really upsetting for people who knew the man to see it has been scribbled on.”

The £20,000 eight-foot sculpture – featuring six cyclists in motion – was paid for by the Staffordshire-based Realise charity and was installed last summer.



Brian Tomkins

Resident Tracy Walton, of Newcastle, added: “This is absolutely terrible. One of our friends used to cycle with him so to see this is just terrible.”

Father-of-two and grandfather Brian had suffered a cardiac arrest on Stableford Bank, in Chapel Chorlton, after completing a 30-mile bike ride. He was later pronounced dead at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

The 70-year-old had represented Loggerheads and Whitmore on Newcastle Borough Council, served nine years as the chairman of Aspire Housing, and was a member of the Newcastle-based Lyme Valley Cycling Club.

Anyone with any information about the vandalism should call Staffordshire Police on 101.

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