Nottingham Evening Post Archives. 


We found the following letters to Nottingham Evening Post from the 1940’s. It is interesting to note that the two opposing views have perhaps not changed too much over the last 70 odds years. The common problem of not having appropriate play space for children was clearly an issue back then. With some people viewing children’s play in public and on the street as problematic it is heartening to read the support and understanding that children need their own space in which to play and the allowance to play freely. 


Old Playing Fields of Nottingham. 

Forty odd years ago there was not much choice for local youngsters to kick a ball about or have a game of cricket when it came to playing grounds. All of them were rough or sandy and were bumpy in the extreme. In thinking of the old Colwick Street and Cur Lane district, one is reminded of two other old street names in Cyprus and Trumpet Street, typical hawkers quarters. These streets led to the Lammas, one of the playing ground of us youngsters when we wanted a game or a swing. There used to be swings and two sets of trapeze bars to keep us active. I can remember youths kicking a ball about on the rough Lammas who in  after years played in first-class soccer. The old playing ground is only a memory today except for the house and its clock. Then there was the old “Cricket”, as we called it against the bath Clock. What a playground it was! Up to the ankle in sand in places. It is now Victoria Park. One or two players are remembered in this desert recreation ground who made good in higher football. The old “Cotty” remains pretty much the same as it was when the Poplar Park was a mass of houses and narrow streets with the church as a kind of landmark. Another sandy and rough piece of playing ground and a popular one was on the Forest. It would be somewhere near the putting green. On this pitch Nottingham lads played who figured in well known clubs in later years. 


Nottingham Evening Post Monday 8th March 1943. 

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Playing Fields For Children. 

I would like to add my plea for playing fields for children. The oppourtunity of playing games and, incidentally, learning to play the game! In healthy, safe surroundings is not their privilege but their right. I remember as a boy the difficulty I had myself in getting, for instance , a game of cricket, risking the admonition of neighbours or park-keeper. And now after all these years, the position appears to have altered not at all. Nowhere in that densely populated area of Nottingham roughly bounded on the west by Radford and Alfreton Roads, on the south by Parliament Street, on the east by Woodborough Road, and in the north by Magdala Road, Hucknall Road and Gladstone Street, is it possible to find a green space properly equipped with facilities for children’s amusements. There are the Arboretum and the Forest, of course, but ball games are permitted only on what is known as “the sand pitch”, dirty and unsuitably designated, of the latter. I would also like to add a further plea, that is for laying out of a few tennis courts, say on the Forest, for those youthful tennis enthusiasts of central Nottingham who now must travel either to Highfields or Valley Road for a game. 


Nottingham Evening Post Monday 14th August 1945. 



Playing Fields For Children. 


Your correspondent “Ex Serviceman” offers no solution to the problem of playing fields, and seems to have mistaken rowdyism for childish play. When children are impudent, mischievous and a perpetual nuisance, well of course, you have to draw a line, but mere childish play is quite a different thing. It has often been suggested and proved that “don’t do this” and “don’t do that” when overdone are bad for children. Well, what would be better for a child than freedom of mind, no fear of being moved, no fear of breaking windows, and so forth. Your correspondent says there are plenty of recreation grounds. The majority, I think, are parks mostly for sightseers. All that is required in my opinion is space like a large playpen run by an attendant. I am sure disabled men could manage the job. Let us have suggestions now while post-war planning is in discussion, not after. It should be an understood thing where housing estates are built space should be left for children. An example which I think is ideal is on Gordon Road estate, and the tennis court of Kelham Green with its high wire netting a typical playpen to play with ball, etc., in comfort. 


Nottingham Evening Post Monday 20th August 1945. 

I heartily agree with “Birch Rod” as to unwanted playing fields. I live within ten minutes walk of the Forest and the Arboretum, but the children in the district do not appreciate them. They play in the streets all day, climbing on roofs and air raid shelters to retrieve lost balls. In so doing, they pull down small branches of trees, to be thrown later into the streets. The older children could take the younger ones to the parks and play organised games such as are taught in schools these days. There is not enough excitement on the Arboretum except on VJ days. The street play is accompanied by shouting and squealing to the annoyance of residents. This exuberance of spirits would be quite all right in the public parks, where the children could play to their hearts’ content. 


Nottingham Evening Post Thursday 6th September 1945. 


Your correspondent “Park Lover” should ask himself, or herself, why the children preferred to play in the streets rather than in the Forest or Arboretum. I would like to suggest one of the main reasons is that their parents wish to have their kiddies near at hand so that an eye can be kept on them, and there is little their children can find to amuse themselves with in either of the two parks mentioned. The forest is little more than a barren field, large sections of which are sacred only to bowlers, cricketers and the like, and the Arboretum provides only grassy banks for the children to roll themselves down. All will readily acknowledge, I am sure, that the sportsmen must have their pitches, lawns and playing fields, and so must the flower lovers have their beautifully laid out beds, which are such a feature of the Arboretum. But I think, along with other of your numerous correspondents who have expressed themselves on these lines, that the kiddies should have their own play corners in the two parks mentioned, and too, in all our local parks. 


Sherwood Rise 

Nottingham Evening Post Friday 14th September 1945.