Volunteers have voiced their frustration after vandalism and thefts at a Bolton train station. 

Friends of Westhoughton Station have been tending to and improving the site for the last 11 years. 

The group has poured what they say is 'love and attention' into the station over the years, creating a flower garden, a rockery and even a cow's head decoration - referring to the nickname for town natives as 'Keaw Yeds'. 

Recently, however, a sign was vandalised at the station. The sign says 'Howfen', a name in local dialect for Westhoughton. 

The vandalism appeared to read 'DUKHI' - it is unclear what this means or refers to. 

The Bolton News: Organiser, Stephen Freeborn, voiced his concerOrganiser, Stephen Freeborn, voiced his concer (Image: Friends of Westhoughton Station)

Volunteers banded together and painted over the vandalism, so the sign now only reads 'Howfen' once again. 

Stephen Freeborn, an organiser of the group, said: "We have been working on that station for 11 years now. We have put a lot of effort in, it is looking quite pleasant and the passengers love to see it. 

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The Bolton News: The vandalism on the signThe vandalism on the sign (Image: Friends of Westhoughton Station)

"It is a nice introduction to Westhoughton and Bolton. Every Sunday, Friends of Westhoughton station has a session to do work on it. 

"But when you get down and see vandalism like that, it is so upsetting, you think why do they do it? 

"One of the ladies painted over it so it is okay now, but it is very distressing." 

He added: "We always try and be on top of it, but it is not just vandalism, people steal, we have had all sorts of things done over the years. 

"But when that happens, people do chip in and provide us with replacement things. It is a terrific feeling because it shows that people do appreciate it. 

The Bolton News: Repaired sign, with cow's head beneathRepaired sign, with cow's head beneath (Image: Friends of Westhoughton Station)

"The vast majority appreciate what we are doing, and there will always be the odd one who makes life difficult for us." 

Stephen added: "We had an incident, we had a cow's head on a fence, somebody took it off and stole it. The people of Westhoughton were upset about it! 

"We got a couple of messages saying they had found it at an address where it could be seen on a wall. 

"A few of us went down there, took it off the wall and back to the station!"