Monday, 3 January 2011

Pepys Park

Just as schools began their long summer holidays in July, Pepys Park was fenced off for regeneration work to start. I particularly remember this as I thought at the time it was a shame that local kids would have to go elsewhere to play during their holidays. What I didn't realise at the time was that the work was going to take so long!

True the new park is much changed from the previous one, which was basically a square of grass with trees round the edge, a few benches, and a single path around the circumference, but I really can't understand what took so long.

The boundary fence is gone and there are a lot more paths crossing the site, making it easier for people to enter and traverse the park. As well as a grassed area for ball games, there is a hard court too, which was in use both times I visited the park and should offer greater flexibility during the winter months.

A fitness trail around the outskirts of the park adds another dimension, although I did think that the little signs were rather pointless - surely they should show how you are meant to use the equipment, rather than just having a picture showing what you can already see?

New picnic tables and benches will give people somewhere to sit and enjoy the surroundings in warmer months, and there is a childrens' play area in one corner.

However I admit I'm rather mystified by the liberal use of sticky things - slanty poles, coloured poles, random poles....what's it all about? I wasn't keen on the wooden posts used as landscaping in Margaret McMillan park but compared to this effort, I would say the posts in Margaret McMillan park are classy and well-considered.

Again I fear that they will not be particularly durable and could be vandalised quite easily. Let's hope I'm proved wrong.

The contractors also seem to have over-ordered the sand and gravel that has been used on the new footpaths. Cycling along the path that is a direct link on the cycle route, I found it rather gravelly - almost to the point that I was worried about skidding. The side paths, meanwhile, are about an inch deep in sand which led me to abandon my effort to explore them on my bike. I guess the extra sand and gravel will wash away over time but until then, be cautious if you are on two wheels.


Anonymous said...

It's such a shame to see a communityy space so completely destroyed in the name of "improvement". What was a pleasant safe space used by many in the community from toddlers to young footballers has become hazardous. It fails on so many levels it's painful.

With no fence surrounding it to keep young children and dogs from running into the road one group of residents is forced to seek green space further afield. The night time lighting is appalling.The wonderful games of sunday football that kept so many youngsters off the streets (& out of trouble) have stopped, as has the community cameraderie for th lonely these events provided. The paths are so full of sand that'll wreck your carpets that you are forced to walk on the grass - forcing many to go elsewhere for an afternoon stroll. With so few green spaces in Deptford, the coming cuts to funding for community events and projects, (the football was free and cost the taxpayer nothing!) it's hard to argue that the person who signed off the invoice for this waste of public funds should not be sacked.

Deptford Dame said...

Thanks anon, it's helpful to have a contribution from someone who is obviously a much more frequent visitor, but disappointing to hear that the changes have failed to meet the needs of so many users.

Gilbert said...

It's the sort of dull low-maintenance planting and landscaping usually seen at bleak motorway services.

Mich M said...

This is what was destroyed. I am very glad we were able to experience a little wild spot before it was wantonly ruined.