King George V Playing Field
New Play Equipment - How You can Help
Many thanks to every one who helped raise over £10,000 for the new play equipment over the last couple of years. After a delay caused by the pandemic, the Parish Council is in a position to apply for a grant to cover the remaining cost of the new play equipment (around £60,000). But we need letters of support from local residents to demonstrate community support for the project - and the more letters we have the better our chance of obtaining the grant. So please e-mail a letter of support to the Clerk by Friday July 24th. It doesn't have to be long - just an indication of the fact that you think it important for the children of the village to have some decent equipment to play on.
Quotes for New Play Equipment
Following a meeting of the play equipment working party in February it was decided to ask three play equipment suppliers for revised quotes for the new play equipment that were needed to apply for the required grant. The coronavirus restrictions resulted in a delay but three quotes have now been received and will be considered by the Parish Council at their meeting on July 9th. Plans and drawings of the equipment each company is quoting for can be downloaded below. It will be seen that two of the companies have provided two options for the multiplay equipment and it will be necessary to choice between these options before applying for the grant.
Batcombe Play Equipment Presentation - R[...]
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Batcombe Play Equipment Presentation - R[...]
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Batcombe Play Equipment Presentation - S[...]
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Batcombe Play Equipment Presentation - W[...]
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Playing Field to Re-Open
The Government have announced that outdoor playgrounds can re-open from Saturday July 4th and so the Parish Council have decided to re-open the Playing Field from that date. The annual safety inspection revealed rot in the main supports for the zipwire so that item has been immobilised. Anyone using the remaining play equipment or the gate into the Playing Field should take particular care to clean their hands after use and avoid touching their face. Children should be supervised carefully to maintain good hygiene and should not use the play equipment if they have any signs or symptoms of coronavirus.
The Parish Council does not have the staff available to clean the equipment or the gate between users and so users and parents are advised to clean the equipment themselves before use and to bring hand sanitiser to clean their and their children's hands after use. Users are reminded of the need for social distancing and parents should note that they allow their children to use the Playing Field at their own risk.
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
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