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Clean-up fails to fix statue’s two black eyes

Fears that graffiti damage is permanent

MINDLESS: Herne Bay’s Dolphin Boy statue has been vandalised
MINDLESS: Herne Bay’s Dolphin Boy statue has been vandalised

ONE of Herne Bay’s most well-known landmarks remains tarnished by spray paint, weeks after it was targeted by vandals. The Boy With A Boat, sculpted out of Portland limestone by Paula Haughney and installed in 1993, has had two black eyes and a smiley mouth added to it by the culprits. Herne Bay resident Dave Lee Giles alerted the Times to the problem on our Facebook page. He told us:

“I got a response from CCC [Canterbury City Council] a couple of days ago. They sent Serco along, but they can only use certain methods so it has dulled a bit but not much. It’s obviously kids with spray paint who did it. The area around there is a magnet for them and in the mornings in the shelters there is broken glass and rubbish everywhere.”


“Sometimes panels are kicked out of the shelters. I’m not sure if the police are on top of it.”

A city council spokesman told the Times:

“Serco have attempted to clean this graffiti off on several occasions, including this week after Mr Giles raised the matter with us, using every product they are allowed to, including hot-jet wash. The paint has faded considerably since the original act, but unfortunately Serco have not been able to completely remove it. The texture of the statue makes removal particularly tricky. Serco could try more invasive techniques, but there is a real danger of causing irreparable damage to the statue, which naturally we want to avoid. It’s very sad that someone should cause such damage to part of the seafront. We will continue efforts to remove the graffiti completely, but it is proving to be an extremely difficult job.”

Herne Bay Times, March 11th 2015

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