Playgrounds

I worked on a good few adventure playgrounds from 1970-6- taking overall care of all but the first- The Bourne Estate beside the infamous Hatton Gardens. Next was Ampton Street, by King’s Cross- an old-established set-up on an old bomb site. We had a pre-school playgroup, 6 or more 6 aside football teams, a ‘Pills Weekend Recovery Service” helped out with adult literacy but were ruled over by a group of older lads – in their 20s & mostly unemployed- some did a little thieving… In the end I couldn’t cope- and lost the plot, Big Time, for a while…..

After a break I returned to Newcastle and started a 35 year-long relationship with Sue Cartlidge- then, started volunteering at Spectro Arts Workshop in Whitley Bay but got back into temporary play schemes- in Cruddas Park then Elswick Park. At summer’s end I took up as a detached youth worker in the infamous Noble Street flats- that’s another story! Finally I took on a 5 acre ex-iron ore quarry in “Little Ireland”- Cleator Moor in West Cumberland for my last 2 years…. Sue would work with me, intermittently- and sheltered me….

  • Outside Ampton Street- King's Cross- it had been going for too long and older lads dominated the play hut. Some time after I left- in a mess- the hut was burned down. (My nickname there was, You Mess.)

    Outside Ampton Street- King's Cross- it had been going for too long and older lads dominated the play hut. Some time after I left- in a mess- the hut was burned down. (My nickname there was, You Mess.)

  • Elswick Park play scheme ca 1972. Stephen Dixon & prob Paul Dixon acc Patsy Laidler & Peter House

    Elswick Park play scheme ca 1972. Stephen Dixon & prob Paul Dixon acc Patsy Laidler & Peter House

  • With Phil Coleman ca 1974. The Big Hill, Cleator Moor.

    With Phil Coleman ca 1974. The Big Hill, Cleator Moor.

  • In hat, Joan Finn. Lad at front right is Paul Meagan. Others named as Cath Clark & Lorraine McLaughlin, Sue Barwise, Ian Barwise

    In hat, Joan Finn. Lad at front right is Paul Meagan. Others named as Cath Clark & Lorraine McLaughlin, Sue Barwise, Ian Barwise

  • Council Pets Scheme - by the end of the day only half were still in the Park. But the kids returned them all!

    Council Pets Scheme - by the end of the day only half were still in the Park. But the kids returned them all!

  • The Noble Street Flats, Keswick, Newcastle. I was employed as a detached youth worker- working with a small group of old lads- many still friends.

    The Noble Street Flats, Keswick, Newcastle. I was employed as a detached youth worker- working with a small group of old lads- many still friends.

  • Big Hill Adventure Playground prob 1975. Paul MacStraw and a handful of camera-shy friends. Geoffrey Higgins at far R.  Girl at front is possibly (2015) Christina Mellon Airey.
Also named as:  John Glaister, with the girl Shaun Stanborough, Paul McStraw,Gary Youdale, Geoff Higgins, AND also: Ed Chambers next to Geoff Higgins

    Big Hill Adventure Playground prob 1975. Paul MacStraw and a handful of camera-shy friends. Geoffrey Higgins at far R. Girl at front is possibly (2015) Christina Mellon Airey. Also named as: John Glaister, with the girl Shaun Stanborough, Paul McStraw,Gary Youdale, Geoff Higgins, AND also: Ed Chambers next to Geoff Higgins

  • Ampton Street- older lads. R. Arthur Burns- had a fight with him one night - we became friends & he replastered the ceiling of my Shepherds Bush bedsit after it had fallen in. My landlord suggested that I should pay for the job. "I don't think so" said Arthur.

    Ampton Street- older lads. R. Arthur Burns- had a fight with him one night - we became friends & he replastered the ceiling of my Shepherds Bush bedsit after it had fallen in. My landlord suggested that I should pay for the job. "I don't think so" said Arthur.

  • Elswick Park, Newcastle.

    Elswick Park, Newcastle.

  • Elswick Park playscheme. Photo by Sue Cartlidge.

    Elswick Park playscheme. Photo by Sue Cartlidge.

  • Early 1970's temporary playscheme in Elswick Park- run by Sue Cartlidge & Simon Danby for Newcastle Corporation via the Young Volunteer Force.
They didn't always smoke- claw hammers were about as popular!

    Early 1970's temporary playscheme in Elswick Park- run by Sue Cartlidge & Simon Danby for Newcastle Corporation via the Young Volunteer Force. They didn't always smoke- claw hammers were about as popular!

  • L>R Wendy Wood, now Palmer, Pauline Dixon or Kath Lawson?, then Ian & his ssiter Karen McFadyen

    L>R Wendy Wood, now Palmer, Pauline Dixon or Kath Lawson?, then Ian & his ssiter Karen McFadyen

  • Ampton Street- King's Cross kids. Boris, Paddy and Dominic DiSpirito.

    Ampton Street- King's Cross kids. Boris, Paddy and Dominic DiSpirito.

  • Big Hill adventure playground, Cleator Moor. playleader and young supporters with T-shirts designed by Phil Coleman, kneeling, left.
Behind SPD is Wendy Southward/Rigg.
 Roger Savage, Whitehaven, 1972/3

    Big Hill adventure playground, Cleator Moor. playleader and young supporters with T-shirts designed by Phil Coleman, kneeling, left. Behind SPD is Wendy Southward/Rigg. Roger Savage, Whitehaven, 1972/3

  • Dressed up in The Big Hill, Cleator Moor. A Joanna Tresseder initiative.

    Dressed up in The Big Hill, Cleator Moor. A Joanna Tresseder initiative.

  • Ampton Street Adventure Playground- by King's Cross. The first one I was ever left in charge of.

    Ampton Street Adventure Playground- by King's Cross. The first one I was ever left in charge of.

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Simon Danby - Playgrounds