Centre picks up the pieces

Memorial Park Neighbourhood Centre in Wellesley Road, Methil
Memorial Park Neighbourhood Centre in Wellesley Road, Methil

Activity is steadily returning to normal at the Memorial Park Neighbourhood Centre in Methil.

User groups have been able to return to the building since the August 4-5 break-in, although some of their favourite pursuits have been curtailed.

Vandals forced entry to the Wellesley Road hall and caused damage to the office area, kitchen cupboards and filing cabinets, as well as stealing a vacuum cleaner and electronic bingo equipment, including the PA system and illuminated board.

Regular classes for groups such as Arden House Projects and Slimming World initially had to be postponed or a new venue found, while many elderly visitors and other users had do without their regular bingo games.

The culprits were heavily criticised for delivering such a cruel kick to those in their own community.

However, Amy Mathewson, chairman of the voluntary club which runs the Fife Council-owned building, said a number of groups had been able to return.

The premises had been cleaned and tidied up as much as possible, while talks were continuing with the Council over repairs.

Mrs Mathewson – whose telephone, ironically, was crippled by the freak July 23 lightning storms and only repaired last week – described it as a “senseless” crime, when volunteers were trying to help their community.

David Graham – one of four local councillors whose regular surgeries at the hall were also disrupted, said: “This incident was disgraceful and showed a massive disrespect to the whole community. I hope whoever is responsible for this horrible act is found and punished accordingly.”

Such centres, added Cllr Graham, were supported by hard-working volunteers and met the needs of a wide range of local groups.

A Police Scotland spokesman said anyone with information should ring 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.