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Dawn Isaac

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Linda Snell, children's play areas and the Wicker Man

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 08 Jan 2010 at 08:00 PM

I have a horrible feeling that I'm becoming more than a little Linda Snell* these days. Unlike this Archers' character I have not started to council teenage village tearaways, nor have I acquired any Llamas, but I am quite annoying and seem to have developed a dangerous habit of joining every committee and local cause going.

So far this includes taking charge of fundraising for the local pre-school, becoming booking clerk for the Village Hall (one of Huntingdonshire's finest venues and very good value...) and being part of a working party to redevelop our local recreation ground into a more exciting and child-friendly space. 

I have a feeling my invitation to join the latter was not so much a reflection of any 'pillar of the community' status but a canny choice by the chairman who knew he'd get a free design into the bargain - the wily fox - I shall refer to him as Brian Aldridge from now on.

Not only was the design fee non-existent, but I also had to incorporate ideas generated from a consultation with over a hundred local people and a petition of village children.  Then the finished design was presented to the entire village for them to pour over, criticise, mock and deride.  It was when they began to construct a large wicker figure in the pub garden that I really began to worry.

But no, after three consultations and a few plan adjustments (too many trees and a pathological fear of eco toilets being the main feedback) we had a plan agreed.  As well as play structures, I have managed to sneak in some planted areas, a small wildflower meadow and even a few trees (I'm still trying to work out what the locals have against them...).

Most exciting of all, we have just had news that Awards for All have given us a grant for our trim trail - be gone ye village obesity - and this follows the award late last year from Cambridgeshire Play Pathfinder to fund our picnic area, play fort, shelter, willow tunnel and zip wire.

Having said that, the recreation ground (photographed above) still looked rather uninspiring and snow-covered this afternoon, but the first part of the build will begin later this month and I hope, by the end of the year, the picture will look very different.  Perhaps I should think about organising an Ambridge-style pantomime to celebrate...

*apologies to all those who don't listen to the Archers on Radio 4, but really you should start... NOW!  I mean how else will you know the importance of good pasture for milk protein levels, the intricacies of bee-keeping or why you should never trust the local doctor around your fiancé.



Paul Kettell said:

Perhaps you will be able to sneak the odd walnut tree in here or there, disguised as play equipment.

on 10 Jan 2010 at 01:03 PM

Dawn Isaac said:

Good thinking sir!

on 10 Jan 2010 at 07:22 PM