THIEVES left a trail of destruction at a primary school after stealing lead from the roof and making off with its historic bell.

Neston Primary School, Burton Road, was targeted some time during the bank holiday weekend.

It’s feared the bell, which has been on the site for more than 100 years, has been taken for its scrap value.

Thieves removed the lead from the bell tower and roof which, following heavy rain, resulted in extensive damage being caused to the classrooms below.

A large number of roof tiles were also damaged during the theft, which has left the school with a repair bill that could run to thousands of pounds.

Members of staff went into school during the half-term holiday and spent two days clearing up the damage caused by the water, which poured into the classrooms.

Displays, children’s work, carpets and computers were ruined.

Headteacher Rob Golding said: “Having recently celebrated the 105th birthday of the school, it feels as though for every one step forward we are knocked two steps back.

“The bell tower is not only a symbol of our school but a popular landmark for the residents of Neston.

“To see the school so badly damaged really does leave me depressed and frustrated and I am sure the vast majority of residents will share our sadness.”

He added: “I am unsure where I will be able to find the money to pay for the repairs but I presume that will be of no concern to the thieves.

“We plan to organise some fundraising events to replace the bell and help toward the costs of repairs, so if there are any companies or individuals who would like to help please get in touch.”