Editorial: Memorial desecration, salt domes and wonderful Dufftown

Sunday Supplement

A very busy week at insideMoray so let’s take a look back via the Editor’s view on what was happening……

Spray painting their way to shame

Dufftown – a glorious example to us all

To the vast majority of people living in our communities it is completely incomprehensible to understand why anyone would spray paint over a war memorial.

Fine, there are those amongst us who detest the loss of life through conflicts past and present around the globe. Actually, I’ll rephrase that – we all detest such loss of life.

But surely anyone with half a brain understands that memorials are not there as justification for war – they are there as a reminder of the pure folly of such events and, above all, as a place for relatives and friends of those who did lose their lives in conflicts to focus their remembrance, to never forget.

So why do people desecrate such monuments, as they did in Lossiemouth this week? Shock factor? To get themselves noticed? A cry for help?

Nobody can ever really know the answer – what we do know is that sadly it is an all too common occurrence throughout the UK and not just in Moray – put ‘war memorial graffiti’ into Google and it returns dozens of instances from Portsmouth to Belfast.

I don’t have the answer – although I did make an absolutely serious suggestion to a local councillor that webcam technology placed at such sites would provide a constant monitor that, if not a deterrent, at least will help ensure the people that do this are brought to our courts.

And who knows, perhaps they could then be given more than a slap on the wrist.

The Salt Dome

One of the biggest debates on insideMoray’s Facebook page this week centred around the ‘Salt Dome’, a new building created to store salt for spreading on our ice-bound streets this winter.

The cost of the special structure – £415,000 – is worthy of discussion in these difficult times when the doors of libraries and schools are being slammed shut, but that is not what caused most of the discussion.

What did was the size and architecture of the structure itself – those who described it as just plain ugly were the ones who were being kind.

That and the fact that council planners never seem to have any issues with raising such buildings in the middle of City communities – but baulk at suggestions of wind turbines being raised on remote hillsides.

For me though the telling image that was barely given a glance by those who accept the need for such a structure in the first place was that posted by a luckless neighbour who now has this massive structure as the main feature from their sitting room window.

If the owner of that home objected or not I don’t know – but I do know that had they done so it is very unlikely to have made any difference.

And that saddens me more than anything else, because no matter how useful such a building is to Moray it can in my view never, ever justify its being put in a position that causes such heartache for a local resident.

Surely Moray is large enough with enough industrial-zoned non-residential areas available for such a storage shed to be built?

Clean Town Dufftown

Congratulations are due this week to the good people of Dufftown, many of whom have worked exceptionally hard to ensure that their community benefited from a floral dreamland.

Hot on the heels of their win in the ‘Keep Scotland Beautiful’ competition last year they won another award in the national Britain in Bloom Awards this week.

The most telling comment from the judges for me was how they found Dufftown to be “exceptionally clean”.

A lesson for every resident and visitor to Moray in there – Moray is a spectacularly beautiful part of the world, but all too often it is blighted by residents and visitors alike who leave their rubbish on our beaches and allow their dogs to desecrate pavements, public parks and beaches.

Exceptional beauty needs exceptional measures to capitalise on and maintain our local environments, councillors please take note of the example set in Dufftown.

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