Community Landmark Restored to Pole Position

A community landmark was today restored to its pole position following a makeover for its tenth anniversary.

Seaton’s Totem Pole, a colourful wild-west themed structure, was restored after concerns were expressed it was falling into disrepair.

Construction firm, Robertson, managed the excavation and re-planting of the popular pole to the delight of the Seaton community through the Council’s community engagement team in partnership with Scottish Business In The Community.

Before being replanted, a traditional blessing ceremony was held for the community by Kenny Grieves who had the inspiration for the project 10 years ago.

The ceremony involved blessing the ground where the Totem Pole sits and also dusting the pole with a piece of wood.

Keith Taylor regional managing director of Robertson Eastern said: “We are very happy to be part of something that is important to the city and community.

“It’s not every day we take a Totem Pole out of the ground and replace it - but if it’s something we can do for Aberdeen and the community, then we are more than happy to help.

“The project was in no way straight forward and was only possible due to our team’s expertise and the machinery which was kindly donated by Whytes Cranes. When we first examined the pole we noticed that there was no foundation which meant that the base of the pole had begun to rot – this has now been rectified.

“Hopefully we have ensured that longevity of the Seaton Pole for many years, so it may have many more anniversaries”

The community led project was initiated in 2006 by Aberdeen City Council in partnership with Aberdeen Green Space and created through community activities engaging local residents and after-school groups.

The pole was designed by residents and pupils of Seaton School and features carvings which represent their community, including a seagull, a multi-story block and a football.

The week-long project included a range of other community activities such as ceilidhs, gala days and concerts.

Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: “The events in Seaton over the past couple of weeks displayed a real sense of community spirit that exists in Seaton and many other areas of the city.

“It was amazing to see the connections that had been created through the Seaton Totem Pole Project which are still strong today.

“The Totem Pole has become an iconic landmark for the area, and community spirit, and it is right and proper that the necessary works were taken to restore it.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who will be giving their time to this fun and colourful community project in Seaton which shows the importance of culture in our communities. I’d also like to say a big thank you to Robertson Eastern who have agreed to carry out this work for free for the benefit of the area.”

Robertson managed all stages of the refurbishment project and also engaged the support of Whytes Cranes, courtesy of Laurence Whyte, who provided the heavy equipment needed for the safe removal and replacement of the pole.

A team from Robertson also undertook the remedial works in preparation for its repaint. This involved, removing the old paint, rotten wood from its base and making a foundation for the pole.