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Wickers in uproar over vandalism of historic Pilot House


By David G Scott

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Wick residents made their feeling known via social media after viewing pictures of a graffiti daubed local landmark yesterday.

The well-kent building known as the Pilot House has been repurposed for use as a tea room and was sprayed with yellow paint on three of its sides as well as on seating around it.

The graffiti has since been removed by the proprietor. Picture: Derek Bremner
The graffiti has since been removed by the proprietor. Picture: Derek Bremner
Yellow paint goes across the stonework and continues through a bouquet of memorial flowers left at the window. Picture: DGS
Yellow paint goes across the stonework and continues through a bouquet of memorial flowers left at the window. Picture: DGS
Some of the paint seems to be name tags. Youngsters were seen around the Pilot House at around 8pm on Wednesday. Picture: DGS
Some of the paint seems to be name tags. Youngsters were seen around the Pilot House at around 8pm on Wednesday. Picture: DGS
Graffiti vandalism on the historic landmark, Wick Pilot House. Picture: Derek Bremner
Graffiti vandalism on the historic landmark, Wick Pilot House. Picture: Derek Bremner

According to eyewitness reports, several youngsters had been seen around the building at about 7.30-8pm on Wednesday evening. Yesterday morning the graffiti was discovered along with a can of spray paint sitting on a bench attached to the Pilot House. The yellow scrawls appeared to be name tags and some of it even landed on a memorial bouquet of flowers left to a deceased person. A name tag painted on one bench appears to spell "RANO".

When images were shared on social media, many locals expressed their disgust at the act of vandalism. One said: "This is sad. Wick don't need this... police should be walking more on a night then they could catch them at it." Another local said she hoped the culprits were caught and "made to put it back to the way it was" while another said "if anyone knows them [it's] time to name and shame. no need for this".

Smoking gun evidence. This spray can was left behind. Picture: Derek Bremner
Smoking gun evidence. This spray can was left behind. Picture: Derek Bremner
Graffiti vandalism on the historic landmark, Wick Pilot House. Picture: Derek Bremner
Graffiti vandalism on the historic landmark, Wick Pilot House. Picture: Derek Bremner
Similar yellow paint graffiti has appeared elsewhere in Wick town centre.
Similar yellow paint graffiti has appeared elsewhere in Wick town centre.

One man said that he was brought up in Wick in the 1950's and despite the lack of entertainment for children said "we just made up our own fun but it didn’t involve damaging or destroying things".

Other locals paid tribute to the tireless work undertaken by the building's proprietor, Peter "Ped" Sutherland, to refurbish the iconic 113-year-old structure, in the last few years, to make it a popular attraction for morning tea and snacks.

The historic Pilot House was successfully repurposed as a tea room by Peter Sutherland. Picture: DGS
The historic Pilot House was successfully repurposed as a tea room by Peter Sutherland. Picture: DGS

One wrote: "Ped has done a fantastic job with the Pilot House, those culpable for this damage, if caught should be made to clean it and make it right at expense [of their] parents."

Others noted that similar distinctive yellow graffiti tags have recently appeared on the riverside boating shed as well as the former Woolworths building in the Market Square.

Mr Sutherland is believed to have removed all of the graffiti this morning.

The building was also targeted by vandals back in March 2019 when a rone pipe was ripped off and used to try and prise open one of the shuttered windows.

Police Scotland has been informed of the latest incident and if anyone has further information they should phone 101 and quote incident number 2196.

Related article:

Wick's Pilot House vandalised




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