Memories of Blagrave Recreation Ground

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You can see some pictures of Blagrave Recreation Ground.

You can read more from Den.

By Den Malham, Armour Road, Tilehurst 13th August 2006

I was born in 1925. I went to Parklane School and then in 1936 when I was 11 I went to Norcot School until I was 14.

We used to play cricket and football in Blagrave Rec. with the school, in the afternoon. We walked from the school to the Rec. I think there were goal posts, but it wasn't a proper cricket pitch, we just used to play on the rec.

On the right hand side there was a shed. I don't know what it was used for - we didn't use it for changing - we used to take our boots with us from the school up to the rec, otherwise we played in our normal clothes.

The girls from Norcot used to play games in the rec (but probably not at the same time) till they were 14. Norcot was a mixed school but the boys and girls were taught in separate classes.

Apart from playing games with the school, we didn't go to Blagrave very much. We never liked the rec because it was smaller and further away. I did go to the Rec a few times with my mates from Armour Road. I went with Reg White, who I think lived in Thicket Road or Bramble Close and also with Beeton - who was also at Norcot School. We would take a ball and have a kickaround. But normally Reg White came up to Victoria Rec.

There were not many people in Blagrave then. The few people that were there were always young. There were never any older people there. I think people didn't go there because it was surrounded by fields so people didn't go there until the houses were built nearby.

There was a park keeper in Victoria Rec called Hawkins. I think he had to do Victoria Rec, Blagrave, and Arthur Newbery. There was probably more than one park keeper (I think I can remember 2 but I can't remember the other one's name.)

Den Savoury was at Norcot School and he was the parky at Arthur Newbury and Victoria Rec until about the 70s or 80s. He retired and wasn't replaced. (He has died since).

When we were kids, the parks were locked in the summer at 9.00 or 9.30. In the winter they were locked earlier. The parky blew a whistle before closing the park and he opened it again in the morning.

The shed in Blagrave was not for the parky, because they had sheds in Victoria rec and in Arthur Newbery. In Victoria Rec the shed was on the Polsted Road side, about half way down. There were 2 changing rooms and an open bit in the middle for sitting out. They also had tea and cakes there when there were football and cricket matches. The shed in Arthur Newbery was down a little path on the right.

After I was about 9 I never went to the rec. I can't remember ever seeing girls play on their own in Blagrave. They only played there with the School.

We used to call Blagrave the Little Rec and Victoria the Big Rec.

The parky Hawkins lived over at the Moors where Calder Close is now. He lived in one of the 2 cottages that were there on the right hand side going down from Norcot School. Hawkins was probably there till the 1950s.

After him I think there were other parkies until Savoury came. I was the same age as Savoury and I retired in 1990. But I don't know when Savoury retired but when he did they didn't have a parky any more.

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At one time it was proposed that part of Blagrave Recreation Ground would be used for a new school. There was controversy over the plans and local people got together to try and have the land designated a Village Green in order to curb it being built on or used for private purposes. During the public inquiry many local people gave their statements about how they had used the Rec and what their recollections and memories of the Rec were.

The following people sent in recollections of Blagrave Rec from their childhood. Click on the names to read their statements.

Mike Keep

Fred Wickens
Ken Johnson Ron Smith

The following statements are those that were actually presented during the enquiry.

The statements refer to maps of Blagrave and the various areas of the Rec that were significant to the inquiry. The statements also refer to aerial photos and a photo of a snow scene of Blagrave Rec owned by Sylvia Seymour.

The following witness statements were submitted together with questionaires about the usage of the Rec. They give a good picture of how people used the Rec and what they remember about it - even if it is a bit formal reading!

By Alan Turner, St Michaels Road Road, Tilehurst

I first knew Blagrave Recreation Ground in 1967 when I took our children to pre-nursery school. I have used it since then right up to the present time with my children, grand children and as a leader in the Boys Brigade. I was a youth officer in the Boys brigade 1981-1995, and as such helped with their activities. The Boys Brigade just used the recreation ground for games etc., depending on the weather, time of year and other arrangements. There was no booking system. I use and have used the land twice per week on both weekdays and weekends for all this time, with only minor gaps for holidays and illness.

I have taken part in ball games and in cycle training with my children and the six grandchildren. Many of my family use the Recreation ground. In general I have used the main area and the little swings and the cycle-paths throughout this time. I personally did not go much to the area behind the nursery school. But I have seen it being used, usually when the rest of the main part of the rec was busy so that another group of users would have their casual football game in this area if the rest of the main area was full with other people playing. I have used this area occasionally.

I did not use area B in the map ( where the big swings now are) until after the equipment was put in , and then only rarely. The Boys Brigade did not use this part of the rec Ė they needed space for football and games. I have used most of the main part of the rec with the Boys Brigade 1981-1995. As explained above I have used the bit by the nursery only occasionally. Mostly I took the young children to the swings used the equipment for younger children, although sometimes we went to the Ďbig swingsí. I took children to the little swings very soon after birth. I used to take a pillow, so the child did not fall back. My wife and I used the little swings area a lot. She used to look after our nieces and nephews ( eldest now age 17) at weekends whilst their mum worked. This has happened since the birth of the children .

An aerial photograph of Blagrave Recreaction Ground taken in 1986

An aerial photograph of Blagrave Recreaction Ground taken in 1991

Some of the statements refer to an aerial picture which was dated 1986 which they were shown. It is reproduced here. You can see the snow scene picture below.

I remember the paths being constructed and the play areas and fences being put in. A gang came in Ė lots of council employees and they did the job quickly. It was not a nuisance- we could still use the rec. The work was done quickly. I donít know how long it took, or how many worked on the jobs. I guess it was roughly two weeks between the time the first time the team arrived and the time the last member left. I am not at all sure. I just know it seemed quick and there was no inconvenience.

Regarding the snow scene photograph taken in 1982 and the aerial photograph taken in 1986 Mrs Cottee showed me the snow scene on Sunday, 16 October, and asked me if this was as I remembered the rec in 1982. The answer is yes. It shows the rough pasture area of the rec that I described in my notes (the coloured pages) dated 29 July 2005. There were no allotments in use or available for use in 1985. The area where the allotments used to be was just rough grass, just like it shows in the photograph. I recognise the fences .

Mrs Cottee came back to me later that week asking for an explanation about what I had told her about the fences in the snow scene so I explained again. I marked in the fences on the coloured map as I explained it to her:

Mr Turner's statement refers to Blagrave Rec after it was remodelled. Here is an aerial photo of the rec dated 1991. If the 1986 and 1991 aerial photos are compared, it is clear that by 1991 the remodelling had begun and the paths have been made, but the installation of childrens play equipment has not yet begun.

Before the area was re-modelled (in 1990) there was

Comparing memories with both the photographs.
We looked at the 1982 snow scene, then we looked at the aerial photograph that is dated 1986 to check out and compare what the photographs showed against my memories.
We found that

This is just I as I described in my notes for Mrs Cottee in July .

The side fence between the big swings area and the school land I remember that there was an iron railing fence from P to X before the area B (RBC area A) was remodelled. We looked for this in the 1986 aerial photograph. It is not there. There is what looks like a 12 foot length a fencing at X, but the fence is not complete at P and it is not at all clear in the aerial photo. It seems that the fence is there in 1982 (the snow scene), but is not visible in the aerial photograph. It seems that some has been removed. Alternatively the vegetation in the 1986 photograph is hiding most of it.

On balance I am convinced that the snow scene shows that my memory of area B (ie the land RBC call Area A and say was allotments) is true. It was open to the main part of the recreation ground and was not allotments. There was no fence PW 1982 or 1986. There is however uncertainty about the fence PX

Some of the statements refer to an aerial picture which was dated 1986. There also exists an aerial photo dated 1981 which is included to support Mr Turner's statement. It is also included here just because we thought our readers would like to see it!
Mr Turner refers to a map on which he marked some Xs and Ps etc. but unfortunately we do not have a copy of that.

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Angela Thomas, Gratwicke Rd

We moved here in April 1985 with our daughters Rachel, who was then 4 and Sarah aged 7. I have filled in a questionnaire about how we have used the park all these years and what we saw there, and how we never asked permission to use it. I am reading this statement to make sure that I do not leave out anything extra I want to say.

Using the park 1985-1990. In May 1985 when we had just moved in Rachel went to Blagrave Nursery school in the mornings, and Sarah went to the Laurels infants department of Park lane school. Our daily routine involved walking across the park. I canít remember much what the park was like. It was a field with tracks across it and some play equipment set in tarmac near the Greenacre mount /Recreation Rd corner or where the little swings now are. We used to stop off to go on the equipment everyday on the way to or from the nursery. It was part of the daily activity. We also went to the park after school when Sarah came out. Not every day, but often. When Rachel went to the Laurels, Sarah moved up to the juniors and we used the park very often. Sometimes on the way home, sometimes we went home for a bit and then went back. Not every day, but very often. We went into the park using the entrance by the Gratwicke Rd alley- way (where it is now). We played on the equipment and went all over the park, sometimes with a ball. We didnít have a dog. Using the park was part of daily life. The girls joined Brownies and guides and they used the park as part of their activities. They did not join the play schemes, but we saw them happening. All the years we went to the park we used to see people we knew. An example is Maureen Wheeler who lived at 43 Gratwicke Rd. We would recognise some people, I guess they lived close by, some I knew where they lived but I cannot remember now. We didnít recognise everyone, but we would recognise or know some.

Area behind the hut where the big swings are now. There were never allotments in 1985 where the big swings now are. There havenít been any allotments there in my time in Tilehurst. There may have been some before, but not in my time. I cannot remember what was there. I really think I would remember if there were allotments there. I have spoken with Rachel about it. She remembers different things-more detail than I do. She doesnít remember allotments there either.

Remodelling the park I have tried but I cannot remember what happened when the park was remodelled. I have asked Rachel. She canít remember either. I suppose we might have been on holiday if it happened in the school holiday. I donít know. We liked the new equipment and how it was fenced off.

Using the park 1992-98 We carried on using the park, having fun. Rachel went on to Little Heath (secondary school), Sarah was at Park lane. The girls used the play equipment less, but hung round the park and played with their friends. It is a safe place. We had picnics, sat on the grass. In the summer we sat by the trees near the Gratwicke rd alley-way. Loads of people had picnics Ėsitting on a rug or on the grass. I carried on using the park as a route to the shops and as a meeting place. You meet people you know and stop to chat, much more than in School Road where you always have to avoid buggies and blocking the pavement. In 1998 we moved to Birmingham for two years so did not use the park at this time.

Community events There were events in the park. I am not sure when Ėbefore or after the refurbishment. I donít know who organised them, perhaps brownies or scouts. I remember Mrs May (who had boys and lived across the road) being involved in one. People carried on using the park at the same time.

Using the park 2000-2005 When we returned to this house after the two years in Birmingham we carried on using the park. I work as a supply teacher. Some weeks I do not work, so sometimes I see the park in the day time during the week. When I am not working I meet older people shopping Ė perhaps on pension day, generally in the mornings. I see them stop and chat in the park too, sometimes people rest on the bench, or just sit on the bench. We need more benches by the path. If one person is on it others donít tend to sit there even though they want to. My family all use the park, for sitting in the summer, meeting people relaxing. I meet people walking dogs-like Judy and Margaret.

My name is Charles King

I have lived in Ogmore Close, since January 1990 when I moved here from Southcote. I joined Shirley and the children Andy, who was then 5 and Clare age 3.

In the questionnaire I completed I explained that I first knew Blagrave Recreation Ground in 1936 when I came and played football with a school team, but now I will only talk about my recent contacts with the rec.

Using the recreation ground in 1990 When I moved in there was no tarmac path in the park. There was some play equipment, but it was not fenced off. The rec was like a field with some equipment in it. Like an old-fashioned rec. I was fully mobile then. I was retired. Clare went to St Michaelís Nursery and later to Moorlands. We went to the park after school quite regularly. The children went on the equipment and all over. Mrs Cottee showed me the snowy photograph and the aerial photograph. They are as I remember the recreation ground in the period between January, when I moved here and before the paths were installed.

When the paths were installed. I cannot remember what happened when the paths were installed and the new equipment was put in. It was just there one day when it hadnít been before. I cannot remember even hearing about it on the grapevine.

Using the recreation ground 1991-2005 In 1991 Andy was 11 and Clare was 9. I still took the children to the park occasionally in 1991. I taught both Andy and Clare to ride bikes- I do not remember exactly when I taught them to ride. I know we went all over the park. We went in by the nearest Gratwicke Rd entrance and they rode on the grass and on the paths. They learned on the grass first. It is less frightening than a tarmac surface. It only took Clare a short time to learn. She kept on asking me to let her go.
Sometimes in the afternoon we had a picnic. Usually something like a drink and a packet of crisps. We sat on the grass under the trees by Gratwicke Rd alley- way, roughly in the middle of the length of the alley. We went wherever there was shade. Other times we played games in the rec. We have played football in the area at the back of the nursery school, as well as in the main area. Our decision where to play depends on who else is in the park. . If there are big children the smaller ones get out of their way. It all depends who else is there. We have used the equipment in the big swings area. We have picked damsons from the hedge along the Greenacre Mount and the school field boundary.

I became less mobile. I have had an electric scooter for four years. In 1998 and 1999 I became less mobile after I had a heart attack. Then in 2000 I had a slight stroke. The doctor told me to do what I can, not to vegetate and to keep going. I am following his advice. I went to the park to meet people. When I sit near the bench on my scooter I meet people and have a chat. I like to sit there. I meet friends for example I meet like ex-servicemen who live locally. We chat about what is going on. I am more likely than not to meet at least one person I know in the rec. I recognise some people, who live locally, but I donít know them. There are also some people I donít think I have met before.

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My name is Mrs Tonia Critcher, Gratwicke Rd.

We moved to this address from Collis St which is off Elgar Rd. in Reading in August 1999. We then only had one child, our daughter age 5 .We now have a son age 5 and my daughter has just started secondary school.

Since moving here I have used the recreation ground sometimes to exercise my sister-in laws dog, but mostly with the children.

We use the play equipment- both sites, the children ride their bikes, meet their friends play foot ball and so on. We use nearly all the park .The only part we tend not to use is the area behind the nursery school.

We use it most in the school holidays and at weekends, less during the school terms.

When we go to the rec we see quite a lot of children and their parents- they are the people I notice most, although there are others, like OAPs sitting on the bench and chatting resting . I recognise some people and at the park- like my daughters old friends from primary school. I am not sure about names, I know one who lives in Corwen Rd. There are usually a couple of people I know by sight as living round here when we go to the rec.

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My name is Judith Cullen.

I live in Gratwicke Rd. and have known the Recreation ground since I moved to this house in March 1986.

I have three areas to report on. First I will explain my involvement in the activities leading up to the application, next I will report about my use of the land over the period 1986 to the present day, finally I will cover one incidental point.

1. The application. I am a key member of the globe group and a Friend of Blagrave recreation Ground. I was involved in discussions among the Friends of Blagrave Recreation Ground about the possibility of preparing to make a village green application in February of this year. We were uncertain if it was necessary, but decided to proceed in case it was. We decided to do the research, thinking it would be useful either way. If the application proceeded or it didnít, since evidence of use would be needed for the Charity Commission. Some of the friends of Blagrave Recreation Ground decided to start collecting evidence of use in two ways. I helped both with the survey and collecting witness questionnaires.

Survey of use of the recreation ground We did a survey of use of the recreation ground at the end of March and the beginning of April. Mrs Cottee drew up a rota using different volunteers and we took turns to stand in the recreation ground with our clip- board and badge saying who we were. We approached everyone who was in the recreation ground and using it and asked their name and address .We noted what they were doing and who they were with (dogs, children, other adults). We just noted the number of walk through people, but if there was not much to do we spoke with them too. We initialled the result sheets and kept them together for every shift. The shifts were for between 1 and 3 hours depending on the availability of volunteers. I did a shift on Tuesday 12 April 4.00pm to 6.00 pm. with Martin, my husband. At the end of the shift Mrs Cottee collected the papers, clipboard and badge and passed them onto the next person or took them home until the next session. Mrs Ellis and Mrs Cottee did the analysis of the survey. I understand that Mrs Ellis did the charts quite recently in September.

Collecting Witness statements. There were several meetings about deciding the neighbourhood to identify. I was not involved in all of them. We decided that we should start collecting witness statements and consider whether to alter the neighbourhood when the results of the survey were available. We would then be able to see where the users of the recreation ground actually came from, and if our theory about the main roads was reasonable. We did a couple of trials of witness questionnaires. Mrs Cottee adapted one from the Open Spaces Society. It was quite difficult to make the explanations easy to understand relevant to Tilehurst. By this time the provisional neighbourhood that we felt the recreation ground served had been agreed. The map A had been copied so people could sign the back, and sign in the questionnaire that they had seen the map and agreed with it. I started collecting statements from people I knew in the close vicinity of the Recreation ground who use it regularly. I started with Mr Wickens and carried on collecting statements. People were keen to do them. When the results of the survey came through they showed that the theory about the main roads was sensible, the neighbourhood we had selected was sensible, so we did not go back with new maps for a different neighbourhood.

The application was completed .The Friends of Blagrave Recreation Ground committee members spoke together and decided to put in the application when it became clear that our hoped for compromises would not be possible.

2. My use of the land over the period 1986 to 1992

Martin, my husband, and I moved into Gratwicke rd from Rodway Rd with our young family of 3 children: twin girls (then aged 18 months), and my son (then age 6 years). We chose the house partly because it had a large garden and we also thought the recreation ground would be good for our family activities. As soon as we moved in we used the recreation ground for leisure activities with the children. We used it term time holidays and weekends. We used it for longest periods in the summer. We went there when the weather was fine. We used it daily. We used what play equipment was there then, and played ball games. I gave the details in the questionnaire. We used all the recreation ground except the part behind the shed (what is now the big swings area). That was just a rough area. In this area (B on the map) there was no play equipment, only rough grass. I donít really remember the area. There was no reason to go there so we didnít. Mrs Cottee has shown me the picture of the snow scene. I t looks a bit less overgrown than I remember, but I suppose that was because it was winter. Otherwise it shows the land B as I remember.

Some of the statements refer to a picture of the snow scene which they were shown. It is reproduced here. The picture belongs to Sylvia Seymour. You can read her statement below and in it she tells of how and when she came to take the photo.

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There was no made-up path across the rec, just a track, so in winter it was muddy. If we were just going to the shops and the track was muddy we went down the alley- way. We went to the rec most days. There was a swing for older children, roughly where the Ďlittle swingsí are now (area L on the map). At that time we used to go whenever the weather was good to use the swings and play ball games on the grass. We played in the middle and at the edge if we needed a goal. We tended to use all the park.

Remodelling the park I remember the change to the new equipment. First people were consulted about what they wanted in the Recreation Ground. I donít know which roads were consulted. I think people in our road had leaflets and were asked what we thought. I know that the council proposed just to have bollards, not a fence as a boundary to the Recreation ground. Several friends and I replied saying that was silly, because the rec was used for football and the balls would go into the road. The council also wanted to plant lots of trees, we said no, because the rec is needed for ballgames, but they still planted the trees. It didnít matter too much because only one of the trees survived. I donít remember a lot about what happened when the equipment and paths were installed. It happened quickly. The rec remained open all the time. There was a little disruption, but not much. The workmen marked off the areas they were working and got on with the job. I do not remember how long it all took, or what order it happened in. I just know that it seemed to be done very efficiently, perhaps over a maximum of 3 weeks. I donít know. Only the direct areas they were working on were affected. Soon the new equipment was up the new wood chippings were down and the children could use it all. It was safer when the new equipment was in place, the chippings were down, and the fences kept the toddlers in and the dogs out.

1991-2005 Alex was 12 in 1992 and the twins were 8. Roughly at that time Alex went to a holiday play scheme based in the Red Cross hut. He didnít go to the ones that were based in the Youth and Community centre. I may have got the date wrong. Alex used to go to the park with a football. He went with or met up with friends or other children to kick about with. They went everyday after school. The girls were into bikes and roller skates. They went to the park with friends from down the road. I used to let them go with friends .The park is safe. After the Alex and the twins went on their own I used to go to the park with Sean, my nephew who lives in Church end lane. Sean filled in a questionnaire about it in April.

Apart from the fact that I go with different children as they grow up, the pattern has been more or less the same over the years. I meet people in the park: people who live in roads close to me. We chat. I see people I recognise. We got a dog in 2000. A smooth haired sausage dog. Now I meet dog owners in the park; I know when different people are likely to walk their dog. I pass the time of day with people. Sometimes we have visiting friends and relatives with their children. We entertain them in the park, even though we have a big garden. The park is better for them to play- there is equipment and space to kick a ball about.

3. Moving the footpath sign Mrs Cottee asked me record my memories of the footpath sign that is now located just inside the rec next to 1 Gratwicke Rd. Very recently- certainly within the last three years I noticed that RBC workmen had re-located the sign. Previously the same sign was situated at the horticultural shed entrance, pointing down the recreation ground path. The council employees y moved the sign from this position and placed it in its current position, just inside the rec, pointing down the alleyway. I was suspicious about the motives of RBC. I suspected that the re-location was something to do with their plans for the recreation ground.

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My name is Doreen Farmer.

My husband Tony and have lived at Aylsham Close since 1975. Before that we lived across the way in Dalton Close. I have used the recreation ground with my children and grandchildren at least since 1985.The pattern of our use has altered a bit over the years, and we used it less when the children were older, but before the grandchildren arrived.

I have given Mrs Ellis lots of information about the recreation ground using my memory to the best of my ability. I am now summarising how I used the Recreation Ground, and I will repeat some extracts of my memory of the details of the recreation ground at the end of this statement.

In 1985 my children Brian was 5 and had just finished nursery school. Our daughter Laura was 10 and was a pupil at Norcot primary school. Blagrave recreation ground at that time was different. There was a slide and a climbing frame near where the little swings are now. There was grass and a little tarmac. There was probably a swing. The equipment was not fenced off as it is now. We used the recreation ground a lot. In the holidays, and weekends we used it for picnics. We used to have most picnics near Gratwicke rd between the entrances on the grass. We didnít tend to use the edges of the rec much; I am not sure why-perhaps we didnít want to loose balls. We played on the play equipment. The rec was really just a field then with a track across it- not a made up path. We used to take a rounders bat (probably plastic, one for children) and a ball. We played different games, sometimes one sometimes another. We went to the rec at least once per week in the summer holidays- with neighbours children and our own. Laura went independently as she got older. I would recognise people by their children, and we would get chatting. I canít remember who they were now.

The recreation ground before it was remodelled: I explained to Mrs Ellis about the recreation Ground before it was remodelled. The area where the big swings (where we had played rounders at Lauraís christening) was now not a grassy field, but was wilder. There were some nettles there and rough shrubs as well as the rough grass. As I explained in my detailed submission there was no fence across separating the pink Ďarea Bí in Mrs Ellisí map from the main recreation ground area. It was possible to go straight into this area from the main part of the rec and on to the part behind the Godwin Hall. That was where I caught my son with matches (probably smoking). I found it difficult to remember all the details but concentrated hard and thought carefully before giving Mrs Ellis my recollections of what the area was like. I was delighted when Mrs Cottee showed me the snowy picture. It showed I was correct. The area was open and unfenced. I was also pleased to study the aerial photograph and see that it too showed the rough area open to be used and not fenced. Just as I remembered. The area was possible to use, but no one (except my son and presumably others like him) did. It was not very inviting. I think there were nettles and rough shrubs.

By 1991, when the refurbishment was complete, Brian was 11 and Laura was 16. Laura went up with her friends Ė Iíve seen her there, and Brian also used it on his own. He went with his mates on his bicycle. Laura and I have sat in the little swings area just chatting at this time. Now that the children could go independently to the park Tony and I used to go on our own. We went on our bikes and would cycle round for exercise. It is much safer than going on the roads. We used to go after Tony had finished his work, sometimes in the dark. I know people would have thought we were odd, but we enjoyed it, it was good exercise and it was safe. We like using the park and have spent a lot of time there over the years.

In 1997 our first grandchild was born. Now there are now three of them. They live in the Potteries (houses off Norcot rd built on the site of the old pottery works) . We see a lot of them. They come to stay overnight once a week. We baby sit frequently. When they are with us we always go to the rec. We use the little swings and Tony; my husband plays football with the grandson. He uses the area near the little swings that is in the corner close to Greenacre Mount and Recreation Rd. We are out of the way of the bigger children there, and there are fewer dogs. The grandchildren do not like dogs. Sometimes the children want to use the big swings. We agree when we think it is sensible- it depends who is there already. Now the grandchildren cycle round the paths, or push the dolls pram round. They go round and round. I like to sit on the bench in the middle and watch. Sometimes we sit on the bench in the little swings; sometimes we sit on the grass. Tony is self-employed and can alter his hours to suit what is going on. If I need help with the children he comes too- he usually plays football with the boy.

We recognise some of the people who go to the rec, we see notice the regulars. We tend to notice people like us- the grandparents. We also recognise the regular dog- walkers (by their dogs) .For example we know Amber, a dog who lives in Recreation Rd. When we go to the park with the children we go past Amberís house. We look down the path, sometimes she is there, and sometimes she is in the rec already. We recognise Amberís owner. We mostly notice grandparents who clearly, like us, are looking after the children on a regular basis and live close by. We also notice old people who sit on the bench for a rest. We find that we are seldom the only park users. If there is no one else there when we arrive, there is usually someone else there by the time we leave.

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My name is Elaine Cox

I live in Greenacre Mount. My house is the end one of Greenacre mount on the School Rd side. I can see the school field from my landing window. I explained in my form how I watched the school caretaker chase children from the field and from sitting in the trees there. I can see the park from by bedroom window. I can see the park because there is a gap in the houses and a fence has blown down so I can see straight in . I work normal office hours, so I mostly see it when I get up in the morning or at weekends, but sometimes I see it in the week when I am on holiday with the grand children There is usually someone there enjoying themselves.

I have two children Melanie who was born in November 1971, and Nicholas who was born in December 1973. I have filled in a questionnaire about how we have used the park for more than the 20 years between 1985 and 2005 and what we saw there, and how we never asked permission to use it. I have also given some details about how the different parts of the land were used. I have made this statement to help the inquiry and make it simpler for me to remember everything I want to say.

Using the park 1985-1990. Melanie was 13 and Nicholas was 11 in the early part of 1985. I am not sure if Melanie was still going to Red Cross classes then. She used to go to the Red Cross hut (the Godwyn Hall). Mr Harry Chilton used to run group. The Red Cross children used to go into the park to practice their bandage skills and for other activities most sessions in the summer. I understand the hall was hot and not all that big- it was better for them be outside some of the time. Melanie and Nicholas went to the park very often even though there wasnít much equipment, just the slide and a climbing frame. They went to the park every day after school. Nicholas was always kicking a ball about with friends in the middle of the rec. He walked through the rec every day to catch the bus to school-he went to Prospect. Melanie used the park too, but not as much-she had jobs on Thursday evenings, Saturdays and Sunday morning.

Area behind the hut where the big swings is now. Mrs Ellis asked me about all the land. I explained in my form for her about the land. I understand the inquiry is particularly interested in the area B, the land where the big swings now are. This was Ďused for picnics etc, a long time ago, as area M. There was nothing there apart from grass and treesí. There were no allotments there, although there might have been some once. This was used for picnics like the main area. There are now bigger swings a larger climbing frame, poles to climb down and so on. There is also a tyre to sit on - but it was recently damaged by vandals.

Remodelling the park I have tried but I cannot remember what happened when the park was remodelled. In the summer of 1990 Nicholas was 16 and Melanie was 18. There were other things on their minds, although they still used the park to meet friends and so on occasionally.

Using the park 1991-2005 By 1991 Nicholas was working in London, staying in the week with his father, and the weekend here at Greenacre Mount. He still used to have a kick about with his friends. They had all played for Barton Rovers when they were 12; now they are just friends. There are some from close by St Michaelís Rd and School Rd and others who live in Hallís Rd and the Meadway. They all met played football and chatted.

Melanie did not use the park much then. She was married when she was 22-she is now Melanie Dormer and lives in Calcot. Her son Sam (now 8 years old) was born in 1997 and Alex ( now 4) was born in 2001. Nicholas married later than Melanie. They have a daughter, Alyssa, who is now 18 months old. I have taken all the grandchildren to the park since birth. First in a pram to get some air, then using the equipment and later playing ball. Sam now likes the big play equipment, Alex does too but he uses the smaller equipment as well. Sometimes when I have the children to stay for a week Sam brings his bike. He loves to cycle round the track and use his scooter on the paths. He does circuits. We sit on the bench near the track and watch.

When I am in the park there has always been a chance that I will meet people I know. I saw Sarah and Harry Chilton there when she was pushing him round in a wheelchair before he had his hip replacement. I see dads with children as well as mums. Some people come in cars. I see lots of people playing games like cricket and rounders as well as football. Some people are just taking exercise. I suppose like me. I had a hip replacement in Feb 2004. Part of the convalescence was to walk with 2 sticks. I used to do a few laps of the path at about 11.00 am and some in the afternoon. The park was a safe place to go Ėbetter than negotiating the buggies on School Rd.

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I am Mrs Flora Smith.

I live in Teviot Rd. with my husband Mick. We had two sons. Steven was born in 1972. He sadly died when he was 22. He was profoundly deaf and a bit mentally handicapped. Paul was born in 1975. We all moved here in 1980. I have known the rec well since then. I have used the land from 1980-2005. As I said in my questionnaire I have never asked anyone for permission to use the land.

I have answered questions about using the rec since 1985 even though I have used it since before then. In 1985 Steve was 13 and Paul was 10. Steve went to boarding school until he was 18. He came home every other weekend and all during the holidays. I canít really remember what the field was like then. By 1985 Paul went to the rec on his own, he played football and met his friends. Mick and I took Steve. We used to go on the way home from the shops and on special trips there. We went to the rec because sometimes it was better for Steve to be out of the house. I donít remember what happened when the paths were made up.

In 1991 Steven lived at home. We had a lot of trouble with his medication. He had been expelled for disruptive behaviour. He went to a day centre.4 days a week. He liked the play equipment so we went to the rec. We used to walk round the rec and used the swings and stuff. We got to know the rec well. Two years we picked enough damsons from the hedge to make wine.

Paul had a daughter Jessica in 1997. The family come to visit us. When they come over we go to the rec . Jessica used to have a bike here and used to push her dolls pram round the rec. She prefers the equipment at the moment. Now I mostly use the rec as a short cut to the shops or a route to work- Mick and I are cleaners at the Link. I like to sit and rest on the bench in the middle of the rec on my way home. People stop and chat. I always see people I know there. We need more benches.

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My name is Gillian Patton

I live in Recreation Rd. , I moved here in 1996 from 40 Pottery rd. I have known the Recreation ground since 1982 when we moved into the area . The children (twins a boy and a girl) were born in 1986; when we came to the village for shopping we took the children to the park. When we lived in the potteries and the children were young I pushed them up the hill to go shopping and to the park.

After we had moved here the children were older and they could walk safely to the park on their own, they used it much more frequently than when we lived in Pottery Rd . They would play on the equipment, play ball games, meet friends. They went after school and at weekends. They went more in the holidays than the term time. They went all over the recreation ground.

I worked as a registered childminder from 1989-1999. I used to use the park with the children I was minding- some of the children went to the nursery school so we used to pop in there before or after calling at the nursery.

My family used the park a lot before they left to go to university.

I cannot remember anything about the time when the new equipment was installed and the paths were put in.

I have had a dog for five years (since 2000), a springer spaniel. I exercise he dog by walking round the park with the dog off the lead running all over the place from about 6.00-6.30 pm every evening. I meet the same people we chat and pass the time of day. I donít know their names I just know the dogs. I think they all live close by.

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My name is Mary Green

I live in Recreation Rd. and have known the Recreation ground since I moved to this house in September 1978 from Bournemouth, as I stated in my questionnaire. I have recorded my statement so that I do not forget anything important that I want to tell people about.

My use of the land over the period 1985 to about 1990 In 1985 my daughter, Helen was 3, and Jennifer was a baby; she was born in 1985. In I985 the park was a field with tracks where people walked. There were no made-up paths. There was some equipment set in tarmac. There was a tall slide with concrete below it, a roundabout. There were no safe toddler swings. We went to the park nearly every day unless the weather was very bad. We went after nursery for about half an hour. There were the remains of some corrugated huts with struts sticking out and the remains of metal. It was not safe. There was no path all the way round, just tracks across the park. The children learned to ride bikes on the grass and used to cycle round the edge of the park. There was just a rough area (an extension of the park) behind the Red Cross shed. Then next was the wooded area. It was fenced off from the kids- but they got through amongst the trees. I used to help at an after-school holiday club so I know that area well. Looking at Mrs Cotteeís map Area B was just more grass land Ėsomething and nothing.

There were events on the main part of the park. I remember I met Judy Green (who lives in Bran Close) sitting on a seat at one of these events. Her daughter (roughly the same age as Jennifer) wanted to go to the loo. There wasnít one. I said they could come to my house and use mine. That is how we got friends. We often went to the park even though we have a large garden .It is more sociable. It is good for the children. We took picnics to the park. We met people. We made friends and acquaintances. We met the nursery mums

Re-modelling the park I remember the change to the new equipment. It was a bit of a pain, but the park was open, and the improvements made the park much safer and better. I was cross that so many of the trees did not survive.

1991-2005 I still used the park even though the girls could go on their own by that time. I would let them go to the park for half an hour- their first bit of freedom. It was safe. They do not have to cross a road to get from our house to the park. We still had occasional picnics together. I did not have a dog of my own, but I started to exercise other peopleís dogs. I take other peopleís dogs for walks from about 6.30-7.00am before I go to work. And also when I come home from 5.30- 6.00pm. I meet the same people in the park every day. The dogs run free in the park, but I walk on the paths (except when I am clearing up).

The park is safe There is one more point I want to make. This park works well and it is safe. Neighbours overlook it. They can, and do, keep an eye on what is going on. My neighbours saw an incident when another child was bullying my daughter. She came over to tell me about it I could sort out the problem. That couldnít have happened in the Victoria rec or in the Arthur Newbery Park.

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My name is Joseph Mathewson

I live in Recreation Rd. I have lived here all my life. Apparently I was first taken to Blagrave Recreation Ground as a baby, with my two older brothers. I was 3 in December 1990,and cannot remember much about my visits to the rec then. My mother, Vivienne Ackerman, tells me that I learnt to ride a bike on the new paths, at the age of age 3 in 1991.

My use of the recreation ground 1991-1998. My memory of the recreation ground over this period is better since I was older. I remember playing football with my dad and my two older brothers when I was about 5 or 6. Dad took my brothers and me to play football in the rec, in the field in the corner by the nursery. It was a good place for our football games, away from the bigger children who played in the middle of the field. We went there at least once a week even in winter. We also went on the play equipment, both the big swings and the little swings. I cannot remember any grown-ups we met or saw there. I expect there were some my dad knew. I remember the children we met. We used to meet my friends: Alan Bristow, who still lives in Chichester Rd. as he did then, Mathew Eginton who also lived in Chichester Rd, Elspeth and Roberta Brown from Gratwicke Rd. When I was at the rec I noticed other people playing different sports, as I listed in the questionnaire. I also saw groups of people hanging about and socialising.

From about 1998 to 2004 By 1998 my big brothers grew out of playing football with their kid brother. Nintendos and computer games took over. I only went into the recreation ground occasionally Ė probably as a short cut to the triangle.

From 2004-2005 I started meeting friends in the Rec. I use the big swings area, and the land next to the big swings. I usually go about once or twice a week now. We phone up and arrange to met. The time of day varies- it depends if I happen to be free. When I go to the rec I usually see a group of young children playing with their parents, and some OAP on the bench. I rarely recognise anyone. My friend Alan Bristow does recognise people. He works in Rusts supermarket at the triangle and he sees more local people than I do.

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My name is Melanie Sturgess

I live in St Michaelís Rd. In the questionnaire I explained that have known Blagrave Recreation Ground since my birth in 1976. I used the park I grew up, including when I went to Blagrave nursery school. I used the rec as a member of the Brownies and Girl Guides, and in holiday schemes as well as with friends. I have used the rec often since childhood right up to the present time with my godchildren, and exercising our family dogs.

In 1985 I was nine. I remember the time between 1985 and 1990, when the recreation ground had not been re-modelled. I am not exactly sure which year it was, but I took part in a play scheme- I went to the hut and also we went in the main part of the rec. At about this time friends and I used to ride our cycles in the rec. We did lots of circuits going down the alleyway (outside the rec) and then into the rec on the rough path and back out to the alley way and round and round. I was in the Girl Guides when we practiced putting up tents in the main part of the rec. I met my friends in the rec.. Lisa Williams (now married and called Lisa Byne) was one. I did not take much notice of the adults who were in the rec. I guess I may have met Kate (Mrs Kathleen Turner, who lives at 47 St Michaelís Rd.). I was (and still am) friends with her daughter, so I would have noticed her; the Turners used the rec a lot. I remember that friends and I used to climb through from the rough area of the rec. (Area B on Mrs Cotteeís map, where the big swings now are) into the tree area of the Laurels school grounds. The school caretaker (he was called Richard) used to chase us off back into the rec. We were not meant to go there.

I had an older boyfriend when I was about 13 (that must have been about 1989) .We used to hang out in area B (where the big swings now are). There was nowhere else to go. Sometimes we met at the Triangle but we were moved on so we went to the park. We didnít go to the area behind the nursery school much as it was dark from the trees. So went to other places in the park.

Regarding the snow scene photograph Mrs Cottee showed this to me on Sunday, 16 October, and asked me if this was as I remembered the rec. before the paths were put in. The answer is yes. This is just what it was like when I was about 9. She also showed me an aerial photograph. Yes it shows the rough area where the big swings are now. We could easily get to it. I also showed her the place we used to scramble into the school grounds through the broken fence. I also showed her how people played football near the nursery, with jumpers to make improvised goal posts against the fence and they other Ďgoal postsí nearer Gratwicke rd., and the tall trees that made this part dark.

When the paths were constructed, the play areas made and fenced off. I cannot remember what happened when the work was done, I just remember what it was like before and after. When I was 14 or 15. I used to meet friends and we used to meet up and sit on the new big play equipment, where we had been before it was put in. We used to meet up there very often. I cannot remember the names well. Scarlettís mum, Mcushkr (who used to live at the bottom of Tree Close) was one lady we saw regularly. She had dogs and used the rec. regularly 7.00-8.00 pm in the summer, when we were there. I am not sure about the surname. There was also a lady who lived at the bottom of Old Elm Drive, Pauline Willis, who used to walk her dog daily around this time. These were regular users that I remember. There were others I donít remember and some strangers who I didnít recognise.

End of the 90ís until the present day My godson, Bradleigh was born in 2000. I used to take him and his uncle and aunt Chloe (who are all roughly the same age) to the rec. Chloe now goes to the Laurels and I still take her to the park. I used to baby sit Chloe every Monday early evenings (5.00 pm-8.30 pm for about a year. I used to take her to the park if it was light. Nearly every time we went I used to meet someone I recognised by sight. There are regulars. Sometimes I meet people I know

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My name is Reece Davies

I am a grandfather and great grandfather. Iíve lived at Green Acre Mount since 1986, and have seen and used the recreation ground since then.

I have family who live in Tilehurst or close by. My daughter lives at the bottom of Kentwood Hill and her daughter lives in the potteries with her husband and my first great grandson. I have other grandchildren, two girls,(aunts of my great grandson). One is now just starting university and the older one just finishing. When these girls were younger and visited from their home in Sussex they too wanted to go to granddadís park. They thought it was wonderful.

I have used the recreation ground over the time I have lived here for these family activities.

One example was a recent weekend. My great grandson played football with his grandfather in the park and used the slide and the swings. I was with them for a fair time.

I cannot recall much about what the park was like before the paths were made up, or exactly what happened when the work was done. I am not very good on exactly when I went to the park with children, but it has been say about once every month or so since 1986,more frequently recently with the great grand son.

I also use the park for recreational walking, in combination with some of my daily activities. I go the long way round to the library banks and so on. It is much more pleasant to go through the recreation ground and take the air. I usually go on the main path. Mrs Cottee has explained that this is more like using the path as a right of way, but I still enjoy it. It adds pleasure to my day, and helps me keep up my exercise.

I enjoy watching the young mums and dads playing with their children in both play areas. When the toddlers get bigger they like playing on scooters and cycle into the park. They learn to play in the company of other children. I see people I recognise and people I know. Sometimes I chat with them

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My name is Susan Drew

I live in Thicket rd with my husband Martin and our three sons Mathew (born 1989), Oliver (born 1991) and Benjamin (born 1994). Before we moved here in 1987 we lived in Polsted Rd. We have always had dogs. Whilst I used to use the rec as a short cut to the shops it was in 1989 that I started to use the rec as a park. When I had a young baby (Mathew) I used to sit on the bench and chat with other mums with babies. We went to a mother and baby group in 1991 with Mathew (age 2Ĺ), and I met up with mums in the park.

Refurbishment of the park- 1990 I remember the park before it was re-modelled. There was a play area Ėa roundabout and a seesaw. There was no big swing area. The old playground area (unfenced) was replaced. I do not remember what happened when it was done- or how long it took. I remember that the area where the big swings now are was not used much. It was wild and overgrown. I think there were nettles there. It was a sort of no manís land. I certainly had no reason to go there with little children. Little kids like flat ground so we did not go there.

Using the refurbished Recreation Ground 1991 onwards I remember taking the children to playgroup in the Methodist Hall and bring a picnic that we ate on the grass behind the nursery. It was nice there especially in the summer where the shade provided by the trees was good. There was little shade anywhere else in the park. Sometimes I used to notice the ladies from Goldilocks nursery sitting in the park reading or having lunch. We used the park quite a lot even though we live next to Blundellís Copse. We did not exercise the dogs in the rec- the copse is much better. The dogs just used to accompany us. The children all learned to ride bikes on the paths in the rec. Children still do. After Christmas you can always see who has received a new bike. The children rode round the paths.

Benjamin goes to the park every day,he meets his mates, socialises and plays football. His older brothers also use the park. I donít take the children to the rec now-it is safe for them to go on their own There are no main roads. I would not be happy if they had to go to a park in Downing road on their own. The crossing at the triangle is a reasonable way to cross Park Lane, but there is no pedestrian crossing at Westwood Road; it is a tricky crossing for children.

I notice that now the children all go to different secondary schools, many of the new secondary pupils meet up in there to catch up with their old primary school friends. I think this is a good development.

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I am Sylvia Seymour

I live in Recreation Rd. I have lived here on and off since I married Bert in 1947. Bert was always interested in photography. He liked having cameras and tried to get the newest models and up to date equipment. Nigel took after him and at one time was a free-lance photographer. Nigel won prizes for photography. We have had the snow scene photograph hanging on the wall on our landing for many years. I showed it to Mrs Cottee after she asked me about the Recreation ground. I explained that Bert had taken the picture, and Nigel knew all about it. We hunted for a second print of the picture with the date on it, but couldnít find it, so we removed the picture from its frame. That is why itís a bit discoloured at the edges.

Using the recreation ground 1985-1990 In 1985 we had a Border Collie. We have always had dogs and I have always taken them for walks in the rec. I took the Border Collie to the rec morning and evening. I used to meet other dog walkers. In those days the rec was just a field with grass and rough tracks Ėthere werenít any seats or made up paths. I donít think I went anywhere special, we used all the park, except I donít think we went into the area where the big swings are now. I donít know why. I suppose it was more interesting in the main part of the park. I used to see that the rec was quite well used with children playing games and so on. There was a fun bus and fetes sometimes- I am not at all sure of the dates.

Remodelling the park As Nigel explains in his statement we (that is Bert, Nigel and me) were in Canada in July 1990. I think that is when the new paths were put in.) I did not see any of the work being done.. It was finished when we came back from holiday.

Using the recreation ground 1992-2005 I have had a dog all the time since 1985. I have only been a bit immobile quite recently, and even now I can get out to exercise our dog in the afternoon. I see mothers playing with children and older children playing with balls all over the place. I usually do two or three circuits. The dog isnít keen on a ball, so it is not too tiring for me to walk slowly.

To summarise, I have known the Rec for many many years. I have certainly used it for the twenty- year period that this inquiry is concerned with. I never asked anyoneís permission to use it. We just went in and used it.

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I am Phil Taylor

I live in Gratwicke Rd. and have known the Recreation ground since I moved to this house in January 1997, as I stated in the questionnaire I completed in April this year.

I live here with my wife Rachel, Christopher who is now 10 and Katy who is 8.

It is difficult to generalise, but I think in the summer I have averaged one visit per week to the recreation ground with the children since we moved here in 1997. Now we go to the park to play football; sometimes they get the bikes out and go for a cycle there too. In the winter the visits are less frequent. When they were younger we did activities like playing on the toddler equipment.

I also use the rec as a convenient and pleasant route to the shops. It is good to have part of the journey not on busy roads. I personally do not tend to combine visits. I either go to the shops or to the park.

I do not often meet people I know in the park but the children do. They often meet people in the rec Ė either people they already know or new people. For example we recently met a new friend in the park- the girl lives just opposite us in a turning off Gratwicke rd. But we hadnít met before.

I cannot recall any organised activities in the park in our time here, apart from something when the council or someone taped out an area to show how much land they were proposing to take for some new development.

Dog mess is not too much of a problem in this rec compared with other places. There are some places that we donít go because of the dog mess. We find that a certain part of Sulham woods is dreadful. If you go there you have to clean your shoes very carefully on return, There is dog mess all over the shoes,and it takes a long time to clean up .

The rec is not like this. It is one of the joys of the rec it is clean Ė I think the dog owners must very careful about cleaning up.

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I am Roy Underwood

I am retired. I live in Thicket Road and have known the Rec well since 1985 when I moved here. My father-in law lived in this house before us.

My late wife my older son and I used to live at the corner of Usk Rd and the Meadway. We came to live here to live with my fatherĖin-law. We decided after my motherĖin-law died and my father- in- law was under the weather. He said why donít you buy this house so we can all live together. So we did.

My wife and I had two sons, Steven and Ian. Steve is two years older than Ian. Ian is 45. When we lived in the Meadway we used to bring the boys to visit their grandparents. Sometimes we used to take the boys to the rec as part of the visit. This must have happened sometime in the 60ís or 70ís.

When we moved into this house in 1985 the boys were in their 20ís. Ian was already married. We didnít have a dog then. I was working as a carpenter. I used to walk through the rec to the shops. I didnít really use the land myself, but I saw how it was used.

I saw children playing, dogs being walked and mums chatting. I canít remember what was in the park then. There was some play equipment, but it wasnít fenced off like it is now. There were no real paths, just tracks. I used to meet people and chat as I walked across.

I didnít notice when the park was being re-modelled. I didnít go very often. I didnít see it happen.

After the paths were made up I carried on walking through the rec chatting to people I met. I got a West Highland terrier ten years ago in 1995. To start with my late wife took her for a walk every day. The when she died six years ago I took over. We go for a walk every afternoon. I go round the path once. I see some regulars who walk dogs at this time. There is a woman who lives in Corwen Rd that has two west highland terriers. She walks her dogs through the park at the same time. I sometimes meet people I know. There is a man who used to live near us in Thicket Road He has moved to the end of Corwen rd. I chat with him. There are several people I meet, and others I know by sight.

To summarise I have known the rec well since 1985 and I have used it occasionally for 20 years. I have used it every day for six years, since my 1999.

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My name is Veronica Bonniface

I live in St Michaelís Rd. and have known the Recreation ground since I moved to this house in 1976. My daughter Melanie Sturgess lives here too. My mother lives in Aylsham Close. I have filled in a questionnaire and will refer to it

Use of the recreation ground in the period 1985-90. In 1985 my daughter Melanie was nine years old and Grant was ten and a half. The children were more grown up and so sometimes went to the rec on their own. At other times I went with them to play games and so on. Occasionally we went to use the swings and played games as a family. The children went to a holiday play scheme that was in the Red Cross hut. They were taken to the Recreation Ground for games and activities. The rec was a field then with some play equipment in it up near where the little swings now are. The equipment wasnít fenced off like it is now. There was nothing special where the big swings are now. It was part of the rec., but it was rough. There were brambles and stuff. I know it was once allotments. I think the fencing was broken down. I am certain the fencing was broken behind the Red Cross Hut (the Goodwyn Hall). The rec was just a rec Ė but it wasnít made up with paths like it is now. As well as using the rec I used to use it regularly as a route through and a short cut. I had a friend who lived in Chichester Rd so when I visited her I cut through the rec. I also used to cut through when I went to the doctors surgery off Norcot Rd. Sometimes we combined these visits with a trip to the park and to use the play equipment.

When the rec was remodelled. I cannot remember anything about what happened when the paths and the equipment was installed. The new paths were nice. I was pleased not to get my feet muddy. The children liked the play equipment. I cannot remember how long it took, if it was a nuisance or anything.

Use of the recreation ground 1991-95 We carried on using the rec much as before, only we did not get muddy.

Use of the recreation ground 1995-2005 I got two cross breed terriers in 1995 and so I started on regular dog walking. For about four years, until 1999 I used to walk in Blagrave recreation ground twice a day every day. The dogs were young and could not cope with large parks. I would walk late at night round the paths. The dogs were loose and would run all over. One likes chasing a ball. The female prefers running around sniffing what has been there before her. During the day I would walk round the edge of the park- not sticking to the paths, but going all round I used to skirt the fence by the alleyway, go on round by the nursery and stick to the edge all the way round. When it is wet I always go to the rec. as I can walk on the path and one of the dogs does too, so there is only one set of muddy paws. Since 1999 I have been going to other parks as well, so I use Blagrave less, unless it is wet weather.

Who else used the rec? I recognise local people walking their dogs when I take my dogs out. I usually see someone I know by sight when I go to the rec. I mostly recognise the late night dog walkers. I see Audrey, who lives in Corwen Rd., the woman who lives off Walnut Way; Philip Williams has used the park, and there is a lady who lives near Tree Close or Tyle Close who is also a regular park-user.

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