AN antiques fairground display in a company's showroom has been 'smashed up' after Albion Mill was broken into overnight.

Offenders forced their way into Purr-O-Lux's bed showroom via a skylight and proceeded to ransack the managing director's office.

The side window on their display cabinet was also smashed and the enclosed working model carnival, which is thought to be more than 100 years old, was damaged.

Photographic equipment and CCTV cameras were disconnected before the burglars made off through a heavy-duty security door and down a flight of steps.

Staff described the damage caused by thieves as 'mindless' and said it will cost several thousand pounds to repair.

Sales manager Malcolm Pitts said: "Our display window had been smashed and for no apparent reason, they have smashed up our antique fairground working model. This has been an exhibit that children, both young and old, have enjoyed for more than 20 years. But now, because some thoughtless lowlife has for no apparent reason tried to destroy it, we are not sure if it can be restored to its former glory.

"This fairground is part of our folklore."

The fairground was purchased from Stapeley Water Gardens by company director Keith Broome 22 years ago.

The model of Cheshire-based Sharland Family Funfair comprises a bandstand, turning carousels, a helter skelter ride, small figurines and stalls, enhanced by lights and music.

During the break-in, one of the carousels was bagged up, wiring was pulled out and the mechanism which enables the fairground to work was broken. Some of the panels on the carousel were also broken.

Staff were alerted to the break-in at about 4.50am on Thursday, August 2 when the company alarm sounded.

Mr Pitts added: "The thieves had been through all the drawers. The managing director's office had been trashed. They had disconnected cameras and photographic equipment.

"The cost of repairing the damage has run into thousands of pounds.

"It is mindless damage.

"These neanderthals have a total disregard for anyone or anything, choosing instead to cause heartache and suffering to ordinary hard-working people."

The incident was reported to the police by Mr Broome.

Staff have urged anyone with information to contact them to help with the police investigation.

They also asked residents to share their social media post about the break-in, which can be found on the Purr-O-Lux Albion Mill Facebook page.

A police spokeswoman said: "Shortly after 8.20am on Wednesday, August 2, police were called to reports of a burglary which had happened overnight in Albion Street, Bury.

"Offenders had gained entry to the property, caused significant damage, before attempting to take a safe and fleeing from the scene empty handed.

"Enquiries into the full circumstances into this incident are ongoing."