Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Children are Wonderful

Today was all about children, or at least the interesting bits were. St Margaret's play area has been a popular play park for children for at least 30+ years and the play equipment was beginning to get a bit past its best with items being removed when they gave up and not replaced with similar equipment. Two years ago the Parish Council really pushed the boat out and decided to ask the Council Tax payers of the parish to fund a complete refit of the area. Two years and a boost from Lottery Play builder money later and we have a play area to be proud of. This afternoon wasn't the best weather it could have been but that didn't deter the children who brought along their parents and grandparents. The Links School sent their choir, who sang beautifully about their dream that has come true in the play area they were celebrating, and then about building community. A brief speech from the Chairman of the Parish council, thanking people who'd supported and helped during the project, and then it was time for the children who were our "celebrities" for the day to cut the ribbons. Four pairs of scissors poised, four ribbons to cut, and the press photographers urging the crowd into cheers and counting down to the cut - a wonderful atmosphere and great to be part of it. There have been some worries along the way and there's still work to be done to make sure that it's sustainable over the long term, but we'll get there and meantime there were some lovely comments from people of all ages.
From the teenagers who said it's brilliant even if it is designed for 3 year olds!
The grandmother who said her grandchildren (aged 2 and 4) love it and spend as much time as they can there.
The parents who said it was worth waiting for
The children who said it's fab but asked why some people write on the wood and leave litter
The dog walker who said she's watched it develop since January and is surprised at how little vandalism there's been so far but hopes the police will keep an eye on it.
It's definitely worth the work and the heartache at times and we will keep an eye on it and we will encourage people to walk to it rather than bring a car round!
When that was over I walked across to Durham Lane Primary for the Key Stage 2 (Juniors to me) performance. Their musical skills are growing year by year and to see the confidence of those children is amazing. 11 year olds singing solos in front of a hall of strangers and a few family is quite an achievement. This isn't a specialist music school, but a school where music is recognised for the value it adds to the lives of all the children, whether they sing or play an instrument or just enjoy listening (though there aren't many of them it seems). To see so many children enjoying performing song and dance routines is just amazing. Well done to all the children, staff and parents who do so much to encourage that confidence in each other and the children.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

What wonderful pictures of a great event and day. The faces of the kids say it all!