The widow and daughter of a former Falmouth Docks worker who died while on holiday in Majorca a year ago, have hit out at vandals who have damaged a games’ table placed on the Trescobeas play area in his memory.

Les Cox died only four days after arriving on the Spanish island with wife, Kathleen and daughter Beckie last September. His local councillor, David Saunby subsequently used £700 from his community chest budget to buy a games table which had only been in place for three weeks before it was vandalised. A brass memorial plaque had not even been fitted yet.

“I think what upset me the most was seeing my niece’s face and her telling me that they had damaged Pappy’s bench,” said Beckie. “She was really upset by it. Mum and Dad had lived on the estate for 40 years and helped get this as a play area years ago, so it’s a real shame that his memorial has been damaged. It’s not like we are new to the area.”

Kathleen, who lives at Lowenek Close, added: “I am really angry. One moment it was there and it was lovely to see it and the next it’s been damaged.”

The table currently has snakes and ladders and chess/checkers boards inlaid onto its top, but it is this that has been damaged by youngsters using knives or screwdrivers, which raises another issue with the local residents’ association.

Sheila Rollason, vice-secretary of LLAMA (Lambs Lane and Ashfield Members’ Association), said: “It is worrying that youngsters are hanging out here with knives because there are young children who use this area.

“We do have a problem with kids gathering in the bushes and in the tunnel and drinking. Once it gets dark you can hear them but you cannot see them.”

A “clean sweep” of the area recently saw enough cans collected to fill eight bin bags with the majority of them being cider or lager. The presumption is that those who are drinking are responsible for the damage to the table and to the play area’s gates most of which have had to be removed while they are repaired.

Councillor Saunby said of the vandals: “The words I really want to use I cannot use in the press. I am deeply upset about this. We tried to do something beneficial for the community and it’s just been destroyed. This is just wanton vandalism at the lowest level.”

While the table, which was created in Manchester United colours as a nod to Les Cox’s favourite team, will be repaired, the games will be lost as it will cost too much to replace the top like-for-like.

It will still cost £200 to provide a plain table top although former colleagues of Les at the docks have volunteered to help if needed.