|King George V Playing Field Cottingham East Yorkshire, a side entrance view|
"To promote and to assist in the establishment throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of playing fields for the use and enjoyment of the people."
When the King George's Fields Foundation was dissolved in 1965 there were well over 450 playing fields across the UK. There is one where I live today and one in my childhood village of Cottingham in the East Riding of Yorkshire which I visited today. They are now run by the National Playing Fields Association and maintained mostly by the local authorities.
|Part of the boundary woodland walk|
When I was very small, my grandfather took me there once for a picnic and to fly a kite; I took a bottle of water and dropped a few liquorice sticks in it to turn the water to a colour to look like coca cola. It tasted disgusting, but it looked grown up.
I played real team cricket there as a teenager and an adult and spent too many hours trying to find opponents cricket balls hit into the ditch on the edge of the boundary.
There was a brick built pavilion where footballers got changed and where I went with my father when he played football for Cottingham and the pervading smell of soil (off the boots), damp boot laces, liniment rubbing oils and sweat in the changing rooms is a unique smell never to be forgotten. That has long been demolished and a new modern pavilion with gym and community facilities has been built in its place.
|A view to the north through a gap in the woodland boundary walk|
The tennis courts have gone - now a five aside football pitch and the long wall me and my mates played slam football against has also been demolished. The parkies (park-keepers) hut has gone and the ice cream kiosk has been gone these last fifty years or so.
|A sculptured squirrel|
Historically, Cottingham once boasted that it had every species of European tree planted within its parish boundary because of its connection with the university's botanical gardens and the variety of trees in this park today is still staggering.
|A sculptured woodpecker|
Hope you enjoyed your weekend