The road narrowing programme implemented during the dark days of Covid, designed to help maintain segregation and 2 metre distancing, was done by using road barriers outside the commercial outlets at the seafront at Cowie. With the lifting of many of the restrictions, post Covid, the barriers came under discussion on whether they should be removed entirely or maintained in their current position. There were various schools of thought on retention/removal. However, retention has won the day at this point. Safety is the prime mover in cause of retention. With Molly’s Café Bar, Auntie Betty’s, Scallywags and the Bay Chippie at Cowie and the footfall created due to their combined popularity, particularly in the brighter months, consideration was given to pedestrian road users (and the age groups likely to be most at risk) and their safety and a decision was made to maintain the barrier as an enclosed, safe, area and a means of traffic calming.

However, the red and white bollards and blocks did look pretty much horrendous when set in a “relaxing seascape” and it was felt that something might be done to beautify the area. Enter stage left, Aberdeenshire District Council Roads Department and Molly’s Café Bar. Stonehaven & District Men’s Shed was approached to see if they could assist in this project. Bill Allan, the chairman of the shed, along with other trustees and shedders with experience of such things (ie George McKinnon, Davie Ross, Paul Tosh etc) took the project into consideration and it was felt that this would be a worthwhile community project to get involved in.

Aberdeenshire District Council, Roads Department, had a stock of timber surplus to requirements from a previous project and offered the stock to the Shed. Then it began!

The team drew up a template in the form the cladding would take to hide the unsightly bollards and then it was down to sawing, sanding, cutting, screwing and painting….

The “wall” began to take shape and much time was spent in the design to ensure sturdy construction that wouldn’t fly away at the first blaw of Autumn. A great deal of thought has gone into this both to present an attractive feature as well as consideration to public safety.

The Shed team has spent many man hours on this project, so far, with plenty more to come.

So now the installation of the cladding is in hand and the beachfront in this location is taking on a new, more pleasing, and welcoming outlook.

Planters, containing flowers and plants, will be installed in the gaps between the rising “waves” and work is still ongoing at this time to deliver the project to the community from the Shed’s stalwart team!

Watch that space!