Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Along the Union Canal and to Tollcross- General Observations on Modern Playparks

What struck me most about the "Magnet Playarea" in the Meadows was how much more elaborate and exciting it seemed then the playparks I remember from my childhood. Maybe this is a reflection of my childhood and where I lived, or maybe it is my memory. Or is it just that playparks in the 1990s were less exciting? I remember swings, simple climbing frames, roundabouts and a see-saw at my local park. Modern playparks seem to have extravagent climbing frames, climbing boulders, swings that can fit more than one person, and other creative constructions I haven't seen before.

Redhall Park in Kingsknowe has a combined climbing frame/roundabout as pictured below. To my eight year old self this could have been the height of excitment.

Climbing frame, Redhall Park, Kingsknowe, Edinburgh
You could crawl inside this, or climb up it and spin round

The playpark in Hailes Quarry Park (home of the outdoor gym) has a climbing wall boulder thing behind in the playpark that two small boys were climbing this afternoon. (Although there was what appeared to be a frame for swings, missing the the swings...which is always disapointing)

Field with playpark in the distance
Hailes Quarry Park - not the best photograph - sorry!

On the other hand I was reassured by my visit to the Playpark in the Bruntsfield/Tollcross end of the Meadows (otherwise known as the Bruntsfield Links). This playpark had a swingset, climbing frame set, roundabout, and funny seesaw things. All much more in keeping with my idea of a typical playpark.

Roundabout in darkness, Meadows Park West, Edinburgh
Lilly on the roundabout
Unfortunately in my old age I found the roundabouts and swings made my stomach churn.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on modern playparks? Have they changed in recent years? When I think back on my childhood memories of playing 'tag' and 'hide and seek' feature more strongly than playparks. Maybe access to the most exciting climbing frame designs wouldn't have made a great deal of difference.

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