GRAFFITI vandals who defaced an information board for a popular attraction in Bolton town centre have been condemned.

Several offensive messages have been left on a sign, detailing the history of Bolton’s famous elephants.

One of the main slogans, daubed on the Howell Croft South sign, is deeply misogynistic’.

Other messages, scrawled in black marker pen, are too disgusting to be repeated in a family newspaper.

The vandalism has occurred just yards away from a children’s playground outside Lever Chambers health centre.

Similar graffiti has also popped up on several safety signs on the walkway linking Bolton Skate Park and the Morrison’s supermarket car park.

Last night council officials pledged to remove the messages as part of their ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards graffiti.

One town centre worker, John Millar, 43, of Manchester Road, Bolton, has blasted the obscene vandalism.

He said: “It’s just not on - there’s even messages where they look like they’re arguing with each other.

“I’ve got young nieces and nephews who use that play park regularly and I’d hate to think of them seeing that sort of thing. That’s not easily explained away, that language.”

The sign details the history of the two cast-iron elephants, relocated to the roof of the shops along Howell Croft South.

Originally they were positioned atop the gateposts at Bolton Bleachworks on Chorley Street until 1977. After the demolition of the bleachworks they were on the move to Victoria Square.

And in 2014 they were switched to their current home, to be later joined by three colourful elephants, Ellie, Elner, and Mr Jackbow, which had stood in Newport Street since 2007 and had been named by young competition winners.

All five elephants, one of the symbols of Bolton, have featured in the Howell Croft Square since 2016.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “Vandalism of any kind is never acceptable but obscene graffiti in an area popular with young families is inexcusable.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy to this kind of behaviour and always aim to remove offensive graffiti as soon as possible after it is reported.”