FIREFIGHTERS have been heralded as “heroes” after using “old-fashioned elbow grease” to restore a graffiti tribute to a late skater which was cruelly vandalised.

The Walton skatepark, in Hill Lane, was targeted by mindless crooks who covered a mural to professional athlete Ben Reamer in plaster, paint and cement.

Ben, who took up the sport when he was just ten and living in the seaside town, was considered to be one of the greatest British skateboarders ever but died in 2019.

The community was rocked by his sudden death and the vandalism of his mural was met with outrage and upset from Walton residents.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Bosses at the Holiday Club, which works with Active Essex and runs regular Skate Jam events at the park for youngsters, were left infuriated by the mindless damage to the memorial.

After putting a public plea online, however, the non-profit organisation was left taken aback after Frinton firefighters took it upon themselves to clean-up the skatepark.

Using an extremely powerful hose, Adriaan Philipsen, Stephen Vaughan, Sean Fisher and Mathew Taylor jet-washed the ramps and managed to undo the work of the callous vandals.

Mr Philipsen, who is the watch manager at Frinton fire station, said: “As serving members of the community we feel we should pull together and do what we can where we can, even if it’s just using a bit of old fashioned elbow grease to get the job done. 

“It’s a shame that because of a few thinking it’s fun that it ruins it for others using the skate park, especially community events that support the youth.”

Holiday Club volunteers have now praised the community-minded firefighters for taking time to restore the damaged tribute to skater Ben.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

A spokesman for the group said: “Not all heroes wear capes, so thank you so much Frinton fire station for blasting away somebody else’s mess,” added the spokesman for the Holiday Club.

“I think one of the firefighters involved is a skater so I think this pulled on his heartstrings a little bit.

“Skating boarding is a good and relevant sport and we are trying to get the park back into use again.

“Thank you to everyone who offered to help. Skating wins.”