Lavender Gardens, between Dorothy Road and Asda Clapham Junction

If you use the Lavender Gardens playground, the small park between Asda and Dorothy Road, I hope that you’ve noticed it’s been looking a bit cleaner.

It has been a lesson for me that familiarity might not breed contempt, but it certainly breeds complacency. I’m a fairly regular user of the park with my children, but it was only after a complaint from a resident—and a bit of pushing—that the park got a thorough clean and I realised that I’d just got used to a fairly tatty park. Frankly, I don’t think the contractors had been quite as thorough as they should. (I noticed a discarded paper from the World Cup there some two weeks after the tournament had finished.)

In the contractor’s defence, I suspect it might have just been familiarity on their part. I’m sure we’ve all been aware of problems and little defects that we overlook simply because we see them everyday at home, work or on the street.

A further result of the complaint has been that the recent resurfacing was found not to be of a high enough standard, so the path—used by so many as a short-cut—will be re-laid soon.

I’m going to keep a closer eye on the park, but if you spot any problems there (or anywhere else in the ward) let me know so I can get them fixed.

The Lavender Gardens playground (the small playground between Dorothy Road and Asda) is closed for nine days from today.

The playground is being refurbished by the council, who will be installing some swings, a wooden activity trail and a climbing frame and slide and will be re-opened on Wednesday 28 October.

This follows on from the landscaping work that had been carried out in the area to prevent it being used anti-socially and will hopefully enhance the facilities available for local residents as well as making the area nicer for people using the short-cut to Asda and through to Clapham Junction.

David Walden and I hog a piece of the new playground equipment
David Walden and I hog a piece of the new playground equipment

Yesterday I attended the official opening of the new ‘dual-use’ playground at John Burns School.

Pleasingly the playground looks interesting, with plenty of exciting features.  When I see the playground in which I spent many hours of my childhood it’s more like a graveyard of ‘dangerous’ playground equipment, tarmac scars marking each piece’s passing.

What makes the playground even better is the dual-use, not just for the school.  While the school will have exclusive use during the school day, in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays the playground will be available for the local community to use.  Access will be through a new gate on Wickersley Road, meaning the main school site remains secure.

The playground, funded by Wandsworth Council to the tune of £105,000, is aimed at 5 to 12 year olds features a gyro, climbing wall, turbo slide, climbing rope net, spinning dish, balancing unit and a shelter with seats.