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Villagers rally to clean-up graffiti before funeral

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Villagers rally to clean-up graffiti before funeral

GRAFFITI vandals went on a rampage in Ecclefechan this week — but locals rallied to clean the mess before a funeral today at the village hall.

Villagers woke up on Tuesday morning to discover that swear words, phalluses and smiley faces had been daubed on walls at the school, park and village hall.

And Calum Craig, of the Ecclefechan Community Project,agroup of volunteers who fundraise and work to improve the village, has called the act ‘soul destroying’.

He said: “It’s soul destroying. We work so hard as a community to make Ecclefechan a nice place to live and then this happens. It’s heartbreaking for everyone who has put so much effort into the project.”

And to make matters worse, the graffitied village hall is today due to host the funeral of Ann Bell McClintock, a treasured member of the Ecclefechan community.

Calum said: “No one should have to look at that as they walk intoafamily member’s funeral. It’s an insult to someone’s memory.”

So, Calum and a team stepped in to carry out a clean up before the event. And the family of Mrs McClintock have thanked the volunteers. Grandaughter Paige McClintock said: “We would like to thank Calum and his group for their hard work and generosity of cleaning the village hall up for my nana’s funeral.

“My nana was a true ‘Fechan lass and always donated to the Ecclefechan Community Project.

“We will be taking donations at the funeral to go to the group to thank them for all their hard work and to support them in any future projects. Once again, many thanks on behalf of all the family.”

However, locals are still angry about the graffiti attack and are calling for those responsible to own up to their actions and make things right by giving back to the community.

And police want to the trace the culprits too.

Sergeant Joyce Adams at Lockerbie said: “There is a great deal of angst in the community about this matter and we need the community to come together and help us catch those responsible for this wanton vandalism.

“This type of behaviour is a slap in the face for those who work hard in the community to keep Ecclefechan a nice place to live.

“Our appeal is to anyone who may have any information which might help us catch those responsible.”

Callers can contact police at Lockerbie through 101, or if they wish to remain anonymous through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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