History of play areas at Rowntree Park

The original play park in Rowntree Park was not where it is located now. Looking from the cafe, it was far back toward Terry Avenue gates and on the left – nearer the location of the table tennis tables. There were play park attendants to promote ‘proper play’!

The original park had a very large sandpit. It had a couple of see-saws and about three or four swings. The playground also had ‘Giant Strides’ – like a maypole with revolving cups where chains dangle (6-8) and wooden handgrips. You ran around fast and your feet lifted up.

“What fascinated me most, although I have never heard anyone mention it since, was something called the Giant Strides. It would be something considered potentially lethal nowadays. I was so small I wasn’t allowed to go near it. Its name came from the larger and larger strides you would make before taking off’”.
Betty Metcalfe

The current playpark was originally added in 2000 following a lottery grant that helped improve the park, and updated in 2019 with a few new pieces of equipment. The wading pool never returned!

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