King George V Playing Field
In 1937 land for a playing field was conveyed to the Parish Council on condition that it should not be used for any other purposes other than as a recreation ground and a playground for children and youth. The £100 needed to buy the land was given to the Parish Council Chairman by a parishioner who wished to remain anonymous.
A grant of £60 was received from the King George's Fields Foundation and so the parish only needed to raise £17 17s 1d towards the cost of providing a Playing Field on the site. Batcombe's Playing Field is one of 471 King George V Playing Fields that were established in this country to commemorate King George V who died in 1936 after a reign of 25 years. The Playing Field was opened in 1938.
Over the years the Parish Council and various groups of residents have sought to improve the facilities available in the Playing Field and currently the Playing Field contains a small footpath pitch with goalposts and nets; a cricket net; swings and other children's play equipment including a multiplay item; and a shelter.
Users are asked to respect the fact that dogs are not allowed in the Playing Field. This is a children's play area and dog faeces pose a serious health hazard to young children as well as being very unpleasant to have to clear up.
Removal of the Multi-play Equipment from the Playing Field
Following a recent act of minor vandalism, the Parish Council decided that the multi-play equipment in the Playing Field was no longer safe for children to use and so have removed this piece of equipment. Removal of the equipment revealed that all the main supports, apart from the one under the central bridge, were rotting badly.
The Parish Council is aware that some questions have been raised as to how the multi-play equipment, which was installed in 2013, has deteriorated so quickly. The money for the equipment – the multi-play and the zip wire – was raised by a group of young mothers who called themselves “Keep on the Grass”. This group wished to use a local company to design and install the multi-play equipment rather than one of the large play equipment manufacturers and the Parish Council agreed to this.
The company produced an innovative design for the multi-play equipment that incorporated some locally-donated tree trunks as the main supports (as well as a small bridge designed by Richard La Trobe Bateman). Unfortunately, within a couple of years it became clear that the wood for the main supports had not been properly treated before being installed and the supports began to show evidence of rotting where they entered the ground.
Attempts were made to correct this, including painting the supports with rubberised paint, but there is only a limited amount that can be done if the wood is not properly treated before installation. It should be noted that the support for the central bridge was made of treated wood and showed no sign of any rot on removal.
The Parish Council is planning to replace the multi-play with a new piece of equipment. To avoid the problems with the equipment just removed, the Parish Council will purchase the new equipment from a recognised play equipment manufacturer and will install metal equipment so that there is no danger of it rotting. It is worth noting that the metal swings were installed in the 1950s and show no signs of deteriorating.
The Parish Council is continuing to raise funds to replace the multi-play and details can be found below.
New Play Equipment Needed
Many thanks to those who have very generously responded to the letter from the Parish Council asking for donations/sponsorship to help raise the funds for new metal play equipment in the Playing Field. We have now reached our initial target of £6,000 from fundraising and donations, which should allow us to obtain a grant of £60,000 towards replacing the play equipment. However, we will continue fundraising to allow us to do more to improve the equipment in the Playing Field, and so would still welcome contributions from anyone who has not yet donated but would like to do so. Ideally, we will have enough additional money to replace the zip wire, which will need to done within the next few years.
Play Equipment Letter.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [287.2 KB]