Swing was not vandalised says retired engineer

A retired engineer from Girvan has this week disputed claims by South Ayrshire Council that the ‘bird’s nest’ swing on the shorefront playpark was vandalised.

The engineer, who asked not to be named, said that it was ‘obvious’ that the swing was not fit for purpose and that it was a mechanical failure.

He said that it was not vandalism that caused the swing to break but ‘bad design’.

He said that when the swivel joint at the top of the swing was replaced last year it allowed the swing to travel faster.

“This meant that the force of weight on the swing was increased,” he said.

“The welding on the basket swing could not take the extra weight because of the increased speed of the swing and it snapped.

“I couldn’t imagine any act of vandalism which would have snapped the weld in this way.

“The new swing would have to take this increased load in order to be safe.

“It is not the first time something has happened to that swing because of faulty design. It goes back to two years ago they first had problems.

“It must be because of bad welding.

“It’s obvious that it was not fit for purpose.”

He added that the swivel joint was observed broken on 6 August 2011 and the swing was hanging from the safety chain and that the replacement swivel joint is completely different from the one that broke.

The safety chain on the replacement was seen broken on 22 September 2012.

Councillors voted last week to spend £18,000, £1800 of which was for the replacement of the ‘bird’s nest’ swing at the shorefront playpark while at Linden Avenue and Victory Park new play equipment will be installed.

At Glenalla Road, Maybole over £2000 will be spent removing and replacing the swing unit, at Kirkmichael £5500 will be spent replacing the slide and at Colmonell replacing the log cabin slide will cost £4800.

A report to councillors by council officers at last week’s full meeting of South Ayrshire Council stated that the swing had been vandalised.

A spokesman for South Ayrshire Council said: “A thorough examination of the giant bird’s nest swing at the children’s play area in Girvan suggests the damage was caused by the misuse of the equipment through vandalism.

“The rest of the children’s play area can still be enjoyed by children and we will shortly be replacing the swing as part of an additional investment of £85,000 to refurbish children’s play facilities in South Ayrshire.”