Playground History (June 2008)

Prior to 1990 the Playground was situated by the tennis courts opposite the Thornham walks car park [swings, slide and see saw] These had been provided by the late John Henniker some years earlier and had been dismantled and were in storage. This equipment was offered to the village but only the slide and swing seats could be used due to safety recommendations. A committee was formed to raise funds and build a new play area. The Trustees of the Thornham estate [the land owners] were approached and a twenty-year agreement for the land at the south end of the village hall green was finalized.

Just over £3500 was raised from fundraising, small grants and private donations. The site was dug out and prepared by a local company and contractors at no cost to the village. A local builder built and installed the equipment, which was opened in the summer of 1993?
The village meeting, has maintained and insured the Play area, the grass is cut in conjunction with the village hall [approx a third of total cost]
Due to European legislation the equipment has been condemned as it had been built to our own design and not by a certified contractor, and falls foul of all current safety laws and recommendations.

The equipment has been closed for some years now and is in need of almost total replacement. I have quotes from playground companies, which include the removal of the play frame, improving the slide bank, re-digging in the tyre and replacing swings and bark pit. The costs are £ 4-5000. We must also note that the whole area is in need of coppicing and ground maintenance as it has become very overgrown. A gate and fence is also needed at the southwest Carnser opening for road safety [not included in quote].
Mid Suffolk District Council has grants available for Match funding [they will match each £1 raised- £500 grant for £500 existing funds] there are also many other grant sources to be tapped into, but I feel MSDC is a good starting point. Annual costs for inspections and maintenance must also be taken into consideration.
This project is worthwhile and an asset to the village hall but it must be supported by the whole community 

Jennifer Vaudrey

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