New play equipment planned for village

Some of the play equipment, including this old rocking horse, has been refurbished

The rocking horse play equipment at Claydon and Barham Recreation Ground is much-loved by families in the area - Credit: Claydon & Barham Recreation Ground

Improvement works at the play area on Claydon and Barham Recreation Ground have made a positive difference for the community - and more is still to come. 

The playground was closed for much of these works, which included resurfacing and refurbishing the old rocking horse equipment, but was back open for play on December 15. 

It's the latest in a series of refurbishments that have taken place since the summer. 

Stuart Price, chairman of the committee that runs Claydon and Barham Recreation Ground, said: "We were starting to hear people grumble, the space had started to get a reputation for being a bit old, a bit tatty. 

"So myself and a few others joined the committee - there are seven of us in total, all volunteers - and we started clearing up." 

One of the first jobs saw the delivery of nine tonnes of topsoil for the football pitch, which was laid by hand, but the committee has also paid for (and helped plumb in) more modern showers in the kit rooms, a new larger storage container and a refurbishment of the existing play area. 

"We've spent quite a lot of money to bring what we have up to a sensible standard and make it look more attractive, in the region of about £12,000. 

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"The parish council have been very generous, but we also have committee members who are very good at filling out grant applications with various organisations. And we've been twisting the arms of district and county councillors." 

And the committee is thinking bigger - it wants to expand the current play area with newer and more modern types of kit, including equipment that is "friendly for the entire community, not just the able-bodied". 

More benches are also on the wish list and will be partially funded thanks to a £250 donation from Claydon Post Office Customers. 

The reaction from the Claydon community has been very positive, according to Mr Price, who says he's spoken to families using the recreation centre who have travelled from the surrounding villages. 

"I was speaking to a grandmother there the other day whose grandchildren had asked 'can we go to Claydon?' 

"It's the positive reaction from the community that spurs us on to do more." 

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