Youths restore vandalised pavilion in Aboyne

A group of youngsters have taken time away from their Xbox this summer to repair a Deeside pavilion after it was destroyed by vandals.

Wooden seats at the pivy in the Green, in Aboyne, were burnt beyond repair last year and were never replaced.

Concerned parent, James Esslemont, decided to take action to bring the popular site back into use.

He said: “A fire burned the benches out. There was a horrible social media post that morning blanketing all of the youths in the village as destructive and causing the fires. There’s been quite a few incidents in the village with the youths getting the blame for it. It happens too often.

The pavilion in Aboyne Green was damaged by vandals.

“Just over a month ago there was a fire in the pavilion outside the Huntly Arms hotel and the kids actually phoned it in.

James, who is a wholetime firefighter in Aberdeen and retained firefighter in Aboyne, hailed the actions of the teens: “It was due to the kids’ quick action in phoning the fire service that it was put out and the building was saved.”

Mr Esslemont contacted local councillor Geva Blackett to see if there was anything she could do to help.

Following their discussions, Aberdeenshire Council supplied the materials for the new seats and James asked Aboyne Men’s Shed to cut and shape them.

James told us the plan to repair the pivy in the Green started out as “just an idea” but took months to organise.

James said the youngsters’ next job could be to paint the pivy to cover the graffiti.

Workshop leader at Aboyne Men’s Shed, John Clement, said it was “a good opportunity” to get involved with the project.

He said: “It’s good to see the smiles on the youngsters’ faces because we have had some problems in the village. Six youths have been charged with vandalising the public toilets so this might counteract that in a way. The community should be delighted to have the pivy seats back, especially the academy kids at lunchtime when its raining and they go out for a sandwich.”

One of the youngsters, Kevin Morrison, said he looked forward to using the pivy again and hopes that people will think twice before vandalising it again.

Councillor Geva Blackett said: “After some bad publicity resulting from the behaviour of a few in Aboyne, it’s heartening to see that the community – including young people – are standing up and doing the right thing.”