Skating on thin ice

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Largs Skaters - rebuffed by BOFs in the baff

Emails about the skatepark

Until they get it will keep the issue on our Front Page.

* * * * * Update by Scot Nettie. Oct 2005 * * * * *

The playpark was built late last year and finished this year. The skatepark was built early this year. The playpark is excellent and very popular with locals and visitors alike. The skatepark is small, which is to be expected considering the limited space, but appears to be very good and also very popular. At last !!!

Visit the Official Largs Skaters website.

* * * * * Update by Scot Nettie. Mar 2002 * * * * *

Mackerston has been approved for a children's play area after 18 months, which is all well and dandy, and adds to all the other play facilities in and around town for the under 12's but after 2 years of asking, nothing is being done about a skatepark for which there is a real demand. Add to that planning being refused for the long-suffering bowling alley, and away you go - nowhere. Mind you, leave it another 18 years and even today's babies won't care any more as they'll be in the pub. Personally I reckon they should open the school chemistry labs for unsupervised leisure activities, same as they do the carparks.

* * * * * Update by Scot Nettie. Jan 2002 * * * * *

After local residents complaints about possible noise and vandalism - they support the skaters but it's too close to their homes - the skaters including spokesman Jamie Muir are back on the bench again, and all the important people back thinking about Mackerston: "wish we'd listened to the Skaters", they said - NOT! The good news is the budget can be held over after April, though we're not sure which year that'll be. The shelter blew down in the gales recently so maybe there's more room for everybody's pet project, Uncle Tom Cobbley the skaters and all. Meanwhile Largs is the last town in Scotland to get a skatepark. Hope it doesn't take as long as the station.

* * * * * Update by Scot Nettie. 31st Dec 2001 * * * * *

Largs skaters are at long last to get a £10,000 skating facility early in 2002, on the site of the former BMX track between Alexander Avenue and Holehouse Court. This has been approved by Council Grounds Officer John Currie after talks with the housing department, and the skaters have discussed with Jack Mayer, NAC facilities manager, what they want for the site (source: the Wee Paper, 28th Dec 2001 by Kevin Dyson, long-time supporter of the skaters). The site will be beautified with the aid of the Largs Blooming Lovely committee, a new force in Largs, well led by Liz Aitken. This is to be officially a "facility" rather than the super skatepark which is to be built at Auchenharvie, but if it's well supported then maybe their will will overcome the away ways of the "why wise" yet again . . .

* * * Original article by Scot Nettie. 6th May 2001 * * *

Nearly every day of the year, come gale or high water, you'll see a group of keen skaters out on their skateboards. They perform their tricks near by the Ices Kiosk (The Wee Neuk) for the amusement of passers-by. They don't do anybody any harm. Yet there are people who have nothing better to do than whinge. They whinge about anything and everything, and about anyone who wants to have some harmless fun. Even the police have been called and forced to have words and "do their duty", because of these petty complaints.

Around this time last year, May 2000, the Skaters formed into a group to look for a suitable place to skate. They didn't have to look far, because right there in front of them is a huge, ugly, and almost totally disused area - the olde Mackerston boat pond! This prime site is a total neglected waste of space right now, and yet it is out of the way of promenade walkers, and a perfect sea-front leisure location. But as a skatepark it would give them a cracking area to skate, and tourists and locals free entertainment too. They drew up their project plan, listing the problems and costs, then investigated getting finance and started to move to the next stage: implementation!

And then they encountered the dreaded . . .

Well no, there's no villains in this piece. Officials and councillors mean well and do promise their support. They've even offered Cairnies Quay, but this is too small, still used for launching dinghies, and has the prom running right through it. Supporters of the skaters, like Kevin Dyson, listen to young people and their ideas, but most people have their own ideas and pet schemes. So yet another play area is suggested for this prime site, and again the 12-17's are ignored. Ah, but there's the Inverclyde - which is at the top end of town, and relatively expensive. Or the swimming pool, or the, ummm, errr, well really, there's plenty for them to do! Isn't there? No. Once you reach the age of about 11, there's little to do apart from wait until you're 18, and can go to the pubs and take your place in society.

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