By Tristan Harris Monday 23 September 2013 Updated: 24/09 15:56
HEARTLESS vandals have damaged an iconic flower-clad Mini which was positioned on an island near the former MG Rover factory.
The vehicle, a reminder of the area's rich motor manufacturing history, had its window broken when it was flipped over onto its side.
The incident must have happened late on Sunday night and the sickening sight greeted residents en route to work and school on Monday morning (September 23).
The creation was done by staff at Cofton Park Nursery and formed part of the organisation's gold-winning 'Made in Brum' floral display for the Chelsea Flower Show.
The nursery, which has won gold awards at four Royal Horticultural Society shows, grows flowers for a lot of the displays which adorn streets, traffic islands and central reservations around south Birmingham.
Staff were originally only going to put the Mini out for one day, but left it there because a lot of people had said how much they liked it.
Tony Turpin, who works for the nursery, said: "We were horrified when we saw it.
"It gives a lot of people a lot of pleasure, particularly those who used to work at Longbridge.
"It's an icon of Longbridge and what used to be produced there."
The Mini is now back on its wheels, but a decision on whether to leave it on the island or take it back to the nursery still has not yet been taken.
Former Rover worker and Longbridge councillor Andy Cartwright said: "When I first saw the pictures I was saddened - it broke my heart to see it on its side.
"I had a few calls from residents who were upset by what had happened.
"The Mini is symbolic with the area and I want it to be the first thing people see when they come to Longbridge.
"We have the new development going on here, but we also need to remember the past.
"We should not let these people (vandals) win and I will be campaigning for the Mini to remain on that island," he added.
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