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Grand opening of graffiti project in Aberford Park in Borehamwood
A park has become a work of art as children unveiled their graffiti project.
Young people have worked hard for four days to transform the dingy walls of the basketball court in Aberford Park into a homage to Borehamwood.
Guided by professional graffiti artists, 20 teenagers used spray cans to create designs that reflected what is best about Borehamwood.
The design celebrates Elstree Studios, with scenes from films including The Shining, Indiana Jones and Star Wars inside each letter of the words “Borehamwood and Elstree”.
It also recalls some of the town’s landmarks, such as 96 Shenley Road.
The brainchild of PCSO Sam O’Grady, the project was aimed at giving young people something to do over the summer and encouraging them to look after the park by giving them a sense of ownership.
She praised the young people and their hard work.
She said: “The design is far better than I imagined. I never thought it would be possible to create something as beautiful as this with spray cans.
“I’m so pleased it’s finished – it’s been stressful to organise. Hopefully I can get some sleep now.”
Elstree and Borehamwood Mayor Clive Butchins and town, borough and county councillors gathered with police officers and the young artists to unveil the design.
Cllr Butchins, who cut the ribbon at the grand opening on Friday, said: “It’s very well done, a great project. I hope it’s the beginning of a lot more.
“Graffiti when done properly can be a work of art – this was done properly.
“It’s a great way to showcase our film heritage ahead of its 100th anniversary, and shows how vibrant and young the town can be.”
Councillors Sue Maughan and Leon Reefe also praised the “fantastic” design.
They added projects like this were an excellent way of breaking down barriers between the police and teenagers.
“It makes the young people see the police as people.”
Councillor Farida Turner said the town needed young people like these to join the Youth Council and help make a difference.
She added: “Kids get slagged of for so much, and then they create something like this.
“I’m so proud Borehamwood and Elstree has such talented and dedicated young people.”
Vivian Ogunniyi, 15, who carried out the project as part of a City and Guilds qualification with Youth Connexions Hertfordshire was delighted her hard work had paid off.
She said: “This project brought the community together and got a lot of people involved.
“I created the W which features A Clockwork Orange. I’m very proud.”
Emma Rimington, 16, added: “It was great working as a team, no one took over and we all worked well together.
“It was great fun as well, I would definitely do something like this again I was given the chance.”
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