Burgess Park – 19/03/13

IMG-20130319-02722The All-new Burgess Park! Last time I came here it was a complete building site and I wasn’t in the best mood. It was the day before Reuben’s 3rd birthday party, we were on our way back from Norfolk and we’d had to stop at the offices of a council known only as S**thw**k because they needed us to pay in cash to use their one o’clock club after our cheque had arrived too late (or had been sitting in someone’s in-tray for weeks, who knows?). Clever readers will realise that this was all a mere month after I’d had a baby, at which point I shouldn’t be expected to do anything, let alone deal with councils and organise family holidays.

What was I saying? Burgess Park was a half-constructed mess, and we got very lost. But that was then, this is a bit later. And it’s all finished now…except that there were still wooden, temporary-looking fences everywhere. But it’s definitely usable now.

I was there to meet some Baby-Led Weaners – Maria, who you’ll remember from a trip to Vauxhall City Farm, and a new friend called Emily with her adorable twins. None of us had been there since the rebuilding, so we wandered in a easterly kinda direction, in the hope of finding the play park.

IMG-20130319-02723It had all changed a lot. I went there a few times when we lived in Camberwell, once to see Billy Bragg at a S**thw**k- organised festival. The festival was a bit lame, and Billy Bragg mainly ranted rather than sang anything. Will I get into trouble with my sister for slagging him off? Probably, but never mind. Mr Bragg also hung out at my place of work for a month or so, so I suspect he may be following me.

Anyhoo, the park. It still had that slightly random “Bridge to nowhere” and a tunnel that went under Wells Way and connected one half of the park to the other, but the tunnel looked new and shiny. There was a distinct lack of maps and the signposts weren’t the most helpful. But eventually, we spotted a slide, which turned out to be a huge tube slide, not quite suitable for the under-3s we were with:

IMG-20130319-02724Did I mention that Reuben was at nursery at the time? Well, he was. So we needed a playground that was more suitable for small people. Luckily, there was one that fitted the bill just next door:

IMG-20130319-02726It’s quite small, but very green and “natural”, with some low swings, a big swing and a slide/sandpit area that also acts as a toddler containment area:

IMG-20130319-02729You see, the rocks surrounding the sandpit are too steep for your average toddler to climb. So they can slide in, but not get out again. Clever, huh?

When I was “researching” the new park before going there, I found 2 main complaints – 1) that the playground was geared towards older kids and not suitable for toddlers and 2)that there were some table tennis tables built on a slope. Well, 2) is certainly true, although they’re side-on to the slope, so both players are at an equal disadvantage. But as for 1)? I can only think that they never found the smaller playground, as it’s definitely designed for 0-4s. Look, even Eva had a go on the swing:

IMG-20130319-02727If she looks cross, it’s just that she was really tired, OK?

Handily, the kids playground is right next to the “Parklife” cafe, which has funky tree designs on the inside, organic food and is named after a blur album. What’s not to love? Sadly, I had to speed off to get Roo from nursery, but Emily and Maria report that the cake was delicious.

IMG-20130319-02725VERDICT: The New Burgess Park is a huge improvement on the old one. Would like to go back and scope that cake out myself.

More details here (official website)

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2 Responses to Burgess Park – 19/03/13

  1. Sarah George says:

    You will not get in trouble with your sister, Mr Bragg is pretty variable, live performance-wise. Went to one gig where he mainly just talked about Woody Guthrie then got bored halfway through Great Leap Forward and sort of gave up…

  2. Pingback: Where to live in London with a toddler pt 3 – Camberwell & East Dulwich | London With a Toddler

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