YOBS have wrecked flowers planted as part of this year’s Stourbridge in Bloom campaign just hours after judging took place.

Heart of England in Bloom judge Nicola Clarke praised the efforts of volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure the town was blossoming when she stopped off on a whistle-stop tour last Thursday (July 17).

But within hours of the visit – flowers in tiered planters had been ripped up and thrown across the floor in the new-look town square area by the revamped Crown Centre, which was highlighted as one of Stourbridge’s best new features by the Bloom judge.

Wooden planters in Lower High Street area were also targeted in the attack in the early hours of Saturday July 19.

Town trader Clive Sowerby, who runs Sowerby’s Shoes in Lower High Street, said: “It’s such a shame.

“We’ve got a nice town now – one to be really proud of after about 50 years – and we have yobs come along who couldn’t give a damn.

“It’s a good job it didn’t happen earlier; that would have scuppered our chances in the Bloom competition and given completely the wrong impression about Stourbridge.”

Mr Sowerby, a former magistrate, said those responsible ought to be made to repair the damage and he added: “We’re not going to tolerate this sort of behaviour.

“I’d give them a shovel and they should be made to put things tidy – then they might appreciate the value of these things and the effort that goes into it.”

David Harcourt, co-ordinator of Stourbridge in Bloom, said: “I think everybody's probably distraught and disappointed that somebody would want to do something like this when we're trying to make the town look a better place.

"We're obviously very fortunate it didn't occur a day or two earlier."

He said volunteers would do something to right the damage and added that he hoped the offenders may have been caught in the act on CCTV cameras covering that part of the town.

Stourbridge has won six consecutive gold awards since it started taking part in the Bloom campaign around ten years ago.

Volunteers will find out on September 11 whether they have done enough to earn the town another top gong.