Scarborough's Gladstone Road school 'devastated' as pupils' new reading bus broken into and vandalised ahead of grand opening

A Scarborough primary school has been left "devastated" after a group of vandals damaged a reading bus just a week ahead of its grand opening.

By George Buksmann
Monday, 16th May 2022, 3:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 12:54 pm

The intruders broke into the grounds of Gladstone Road Primary School on Wooler Street overnight between Friday May 13 and Saturday May 14 and damaged a decommissioned double-decker bus that is used by the school's pupils.

Garry Johnson, Headteacher at Gladstone Road, told The Scarborough News: "It was devastating to discover that it had been broken into and vandalised.

"This bus is for our community and so much time and effort has gone into getting it and setting it up for our children and parents to use and benefit from."

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Vandals caused damage to light fittings and a heater. (Photo: Gladstone Road Primary School)

North Yorkshire Police said it is investigating an incident of criminal damage at the school and that forensic examinations have been conducted to help identify those responsible.

Officers said the vandals damaged light fittings and a heater but did not believe that anything had been stolen from the bus, which is set for its grand opening on May 25.

Mr Johnson said the decommissioned bus was bought, painted and reconditioned almost two years ago, with planning permission delaying the project. It is set to be used as a 'break out' classroom, reading and lunchtime games space as well as a parent zone for Friends of Gladstone Road.

The school's pupils will decide a new name for the bus next week at the grand opening and Jubilee tea party.

North Yorkshire Police's forensics team has carried out examinations at the school. (Photo: Gladstone Road Primary School)

On hearing the news, Frank Wright, Managing Director of Eazzee Building Maintenance Ltd and grandad to two Gladstone Road pupils, and his team volunteered to repair the bus free of charge.

Mr Johnson said: "It absolutely melted my heart when I put it on Facebook and we were showered with support from parents, local businesses and the general public.

"The community engagement is humbling and actually quite overwhelming. Thank you Scarborough."

Mr Wright and his team are repairing the bus this afternoon, ensuring that it is secure and "back in shape".

Frank Wright, Managing Director of Eazzee Building Maintenance Ltd, left, and Gladstone Road Primary School Headteacher Garry Johnson. (Photo: Gladstone Road Primary School)

New CCTV is now being installed inside the bus and the school is arranging for the Neighbourhood Policing Team to increase its patrols and evict trespassers.

Anyone with information is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Nathaniel Scott or email [email protected]

Information can be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Quote police reference number 12220082070.