The circus comes to Stonebridge Adventure Playground
PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 October 2014
Campaigners were treated to a dazzling spectacle in recognition of their efforts to save a popular playground in Stonebridge which is fighting for survival.
Scores of people looked on in awe and astonishment as pyrotechnics experts showcased some mind-boggling stunts at the under-threat Stonebridge Adventure Playground (SAP).
The performances were fitting metaphors of the lobbyists’ burning desire to fight plans to demolish the centre to accommodate the expansion of Stonebridge Primary School and the construction of new homes.
A smaller children’s play space would also be created under the plans, and the shape of the existing open space will be altered, at the expense of SAP which has served more than 30,000 children from nearby housing estates for nearly four decades.
Douglas Lee, who has managed the site with his wife Glynis Lee, since it was built in 1976, said: “I think more and more people are adopting a strong view on the issue.
“The administration in Brent has picked the wrong community to start an unjust fight with. We will not back down.”
The special event also featured an entertainment workshop, which allowed attendees to try their hand at a range of circus tricks.
They also took the opportunity to sign a petition opposing the plans, bringing the overall tally to 600 signatures.
Dorota Stamiak, who has sent her two children, Szymon and Alicja Stamiak, aged seven and five respectively, to the play area for five years, said: “My children were excited and really enjoyed the show.”
She continued “I do not fear when I leave my children there because I know they are being looked after by great people and there are lots of activities to keep the kids occupied.
“We need it to remain open.”
The site, which is run by Brent Play Association, fought off a previous closure when funding was found at the 11th hour in 2012.
It was given grants totalling £187,000 to run the centre from 2012 until the end of this year but it also relies on donations individuals and charitable organisations such as the John Lyon Charity.