Children celebrate Lodsworth playground’s makeover, 1998

Children celebrate the new playground
Children celebrate the new playground

This photograph shows children celebrating the refurbished playground, which had just opened in Lodsworth in July, 1998.

It had been opened by Mrs Sue Barnes at a special ceremony, and excited children gathered from all corners of the village to take part in the celebration.

Before declaring the playground open, Sue had congratulated those involved in the project, and said she hoped the playground would be used by the children of the village and all their friends.

The recreation ground was founded in 1953 by Cecil Barnes, Sue’s late husband.

He was the original benefactor of the children’s play area and took a keen interest in all the children’s activities in the village.

Since his death, Sue continued with her support and played a major part in the refurbishment project.

The playground had been in need of a facelift for some time. With encouragement from the parish council and support from the Recreation Ground Committee, John Bullen, who took on the task of raising funds for the project, commissioned a report from the safety officer for playground equipment. The refurbishment was based on that report.

Various repairs and renewals had been carried out to some of the playground’s best-loved apparatus, and a large rocking horse, capable of taking up to five children at a time, was added.

Under each piece of equipment was a black rubberised safety surface. The whole area was landscaped and an extra seat was added for the benefit of adults.

The project cost £14,500. The major source of finance came from grants. The village raised £4,000 direct from individuals and the Recreation Ground Committee donated £2,500. The £2,000 saved by using local voluntary labour for the job was added to the fund.