The playground at Milehouse corner

This playground was just inside the main park entrance on Milehouse Corner at the junction of Alma Road and Outland Road.  It was constructed with the park and the programme for the opening ceremony on 29th July 1931 included this description:

“On the eastern (sic) side of the paddling pools is the equipped playground which contains some of the most modern apparatus for the amusement and physical exercise of children.  The apparatus has been grouped to have those items for young children at one end and those for older children at the other end.

“The playground is divided by a spacious promenade, with grass verges, from which the whole of the apparatus can be seen.

“The apparatus includes joy-wheels, merry-go-rounds, ocean waves, giant strides, see-saws, large and small swings, rowing see-saws, plane swings, plank swings, parallel bars, horizontal bars and horizontal ladders.”   

Karen Moore with her grandmother, circa 1970. The two pools and park shelter are behind the swings. (Karen Moore)

Unlike playgrounds today, the bases were made of concrete and the apparatus had many hard corners and edges with the result that scrapes, bruises and more serious injuries were not uncommon.  Here is a selection of photos of the playground and its apparatus.     

The layout of the playground, its two pools and park shelter can be seen in this aerial photograph taken circa 1975, a corner having been lost for the road junction improvements in 1967.

Aerial view circa 1975 (Stephen Johnson)

By 1987, the playground had closed and been demolished, together with the park shelter and paddling pools.  It was to provide space to extend the swimming pool and Mayflower centre carpark, and enable a further road improvement scheme at the Milehouse junction. To compensate, a new, smaller playground was built between the swimming pool and the clock tower and it lasted until 2003 when the Seven Continents playground opened in Wills Field on the south west side of the clock tower.