Pleasaunt Moments – And An Odd Proposal

Back on Saturday I was worrying whether or not the Friends of East Greenwich Pleasuance would be holding their annual carol shindig this year after the indifferent weather of past occasions.

I’m delighted to say they ARE doing the whole festive thing – and it looks bigger than ever, with performances from the Halstow Community Choir (of which I’ve never heard before…) leading a singalong and the splendid Los Dawsons (I was hoping to nick a nice piece of footage from MySpace to show those of you who aren’t converted yet but the account’s suspended – you’ll just have to live with pics of them at their blog ) playing festive bluesy stuff.

There will be the usual mulled wine and mince pies, and Father Christmas arrives at 2.15pm.

I’m sure much of the afternoon’s conversation will revolve around a rather odd proposal which is being put forward as part of the Olympic Legacy funding – installing an ‘outdoor gym’ in the Pleasaunce – at the cost of fifty grand.

The Friends are a bit surprised at this generous but unsought proposal (they hadn’t heard anything about it) and they’re soliciting for reactions, wondering whether money like this couldn’t be spent a bit more usefully elsewhere (though they accept that the cash will have to go on something sport/fitness related) like upgrading the Bothy/One O’Clock Club or play equipment (though of course they are very kiddie-oriented places and not going to get wobbly adult Phantoms into shape…)

I confess I’m a bit nonplussed about it – in some ways it’s good – having money spent on a park seems like a good thing – but in other ways I worry – only a few weeks ago there was concern that putting a temporary farmers market there might somehow be ‘disrespectful’ – this would mean removing more green grass for hard standing to take specially tough gym equipment – which I have to say isn’t wildly attractive .

I don’t really buy the argument that people would be embarrassed to use such kit in public – people who are that shy probably wouldn’t make it to a regular gym anyway, and nor do I think that it would “attract noisy kids into the park at night after the gates are shut” – surely the answer there is in the statement – the gates are shut – I can’t see yobbos making all that effort to get in just to play on the fitness equipment.

I’m not going to march to the barricades over this – I’m not sure I care too much but I do think it needs a bit of talking about, and the worry about using up yet more green space for general ‘stuff’ is, IMHO, valid.

What do you think the cash should be spent on (given it has to go for sporty things)?


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