Playtime for Pewsey teens

This Is Wiltshire: Bob Woodward, Phil Stevens, Terry Eyles, Nina Laughrin, Diana Hughes and Bob Lewis open Pewsey play area Bob Woodward, Phil Stevens, Terry Eyles, Nina Laughrin, Diana Hughes and Bob Lewis open Pewsey play area

Teenagers in Pewsey up to the age of 15 or 16 no longer have to run the risk of being told off for using play equipment intended for small children – because one play area is now specifically for them.

When the former children’s play area at Broadfields, close to the Shak youth club which younger teens use, fell into disrepair, the town council faced two choices – doing away with it or putting in new play equipment.

The village has a number of play areas for small children so the parish council, which is concerned at a perceived lack of facilities in the village for teenagers, decided to give them an area of their own.

The £26,000 cost came from a Section 106 fund, into which developers had to pay to the parish council when they got permission to develop the old hospital site.

On Friday, council chairman Bob Woodward officially opened the new play area, which was the brainchild of environment chairman Terry Eyles and parish councillor Phil Stevens, who has responsibility for play areas.

The revamped area continues to be called the Jon Laughrin Play Area after the former Pewsey police sergeant who ran the village police station for many years and died in 1998.

Sgt Laughrin helped raise the funds to build the original play area in Broadfields and also organised a contest among young people in the village to design it.

His widow Nina attended the opening of the new play area last week and marked it by releasing balloons.

Coun Stevens said it was decided to make the Broadfields area suitable for older children because of its proximity to the Shak and to Pewsey Vale School.

Launching the new play area, Coun Woodward said: “One of the big advantages of having new developments in villages like Pewsey is getting Section 106 agreements from the developers that help pay for things like this.”

He said it had been deliberately changed to a play area for older children and younger teenagers.

The play area contains four pieces of equipment, including a wobbler, a large swing, a modern take on a seesaw and another seesaw that children can hang from.

After the official launch some of the councillors could not resist testing out the new equipment.

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