Shotley teenagers lose den

SHOTLEY youngsters will be left out in the cold this winter after a popular meeting point was demolished.The privately-owned bus shelter in Great Harlings Road was the regular haunt of teenagers who used to regularly redecorate it to keep it looking clean.

SHOTLEY youngsters will be left out in the cold this winter after a popular meeting point was demolished.

The privately-owned bus shelter in Great Harlings Road was the regular haunt of teenagers who used to regularly redecorate it to keep it looking clean.

Over the past few years the group, labelled the Shotley Massive, have been praised for the colourful designs, but workmen demolished all their hard work with sledgehammers on Thursday .

But the owner, Joanne Wilcox, could no longer put up with increasing amounts of noise, vandalism and rubbish, some of which ended up in her garden.


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The mother-of-two was quite happy with the teenagers using the shelter when she first moved in two years ago.

She said: "It's a shame, but the shelter has acted like a magnet attracting kids from Ipswich and all over.

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"Sometimes there can be up to 30 youths hanging around outside it gets very noisy and very messy.

"I put up with sleepless nights over the summer but now it is just intolerable.

"My neighbours are too scared to walk past, or even come out of their houses when there's a big group, as they feel intimidated."

"It is the youths in their 20's that are the problem. They come here to sell the teenagers drugs and encourage them to drink alcohol."

Mrs Wilcox's neighbours supported her decision and even contributed to the cost of the demolition work.

But the decision did not go down well with the teenagers.

Frazer Leeks, 16, of Blake Avenue, said: "We are very disappointed. We have worked hard to try and keep the shelter neat and tidy and then all of a sudden I noticed that it was being knocked down.

"There is nowhere else for us to go, so will continue to meet at the site. We will just have to get wet if it rains."

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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