The Parish Council were offered a "Youth Shelter" as part of a section 106 development grant. The catalogue of shelters was sent to Da Joint for the young people to choose what they wanted, and after being shocked by the cost of the shelter, decided that they would prefer picnic benches which offered more seating: for the price of the youth shelter, they could afford four six seater picnic benches, and four litter bins, and still some change. It would also make the Rec more family friendly, most summers there are families attempting barbecues using disposable foil trays: this would be safer and far more attractive.
Some of our young lads had got the building bug from working to build Da Joint, and offered to build brick barbecues at each picnic area.
The Parish Council agreed to the proposal, and on a bitterly cold February morning work began.
Because the benches are made of 50x100x5mm box steel, they are too heavy to lift, and Leach Lewis Plant lent an all-wheel drive forklift, and Will Bruce and Mike Taylor unloaded them from the truck straight onto site, while waiting for the rest of the labour force to arrive.
Sam Bruce and Richard took charge of the comcrete mixer in the van, whilst James Littler and Mike Taylor got two gangs working digging the pits for the concrete bases.
Around lunchtime Steve Littler and Keri Jones arrived with the barbecue equipment, and lunch was cooked using food donated by the Parish Council and Plaxtol Bakery.
For the following six weekends work continued. One of the sub-texts of the project was to provide a relatively safe place for young arsonists to light fires without causing damage, and that has worked, with a noticeable decrease in vandal fires.
The picnic benches and litterbins are extremely robust, and were supplied by Urban Engineering, www.urbanengineering.co.uk .