Memories of adventure playgrounds to feature in new project

Shiremoor Adventure Playground, in Shiremoor.
Shiremoor Adventure Playground, in Shiremoor.

Childhood memories of happy days in adventure playgrounds are to feature in a new social history project.

Shiremoor Adventure Playground Trust has been awarded a grant of almost £41,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to support its project, Adventure Playgrounds in North Tyneside; where have they gone?

As part of the venture, a team of young researchers, aged nine to 14, from Shiremoor Adventure Playground will be trained to interview past users and playworkers who have memories of the two adventure playgrounds, which were in North Shields and Longbenton during the 1970s.

The team will delve into local archives, films and libraries to produce selfie stories and create a digital archive. They will also visit the V&A Museum of Childhood and adventure playgrounds in London as part of their fact- finding mission.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “Adventure playgrounds give children fantastic opportunities to play outdoors with their friends and use exciting, fun and challenging play equipment.

“North Tyneside has always been a supporter and I’m delighted that this HLF-funded project will give our young people the chance to research the past and rediscover and preserve the history of local adventure playgrounds enjoyed by an earlier generation.”

Nigel Voules, chair of the Trust, said: “We believe adventure playgrounds are places that are crucial to the social, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional development of children who use them. So, we feel it is important to have a record of the history of this provision in the borough.”

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “Play during childhood is essential for learning, wellbeing and exercise. Thanks to National Lottery players this project will collect the memories of those who played and worked at North Tyneside’s adventure playgrounds, revealing an important part of the community’s social history.”

If anyone has any information, memories, photographs or other media that might be of interest to the project please do not hesitate to make contact with keeks.mcgarry@northtyneside.gov.uk or admin@memoriesnorthtyneside.org.uk