Save the Avalon Park Fort

I found this travesty on facebook - I had no idea..

Hutt City Council plans to demolish the Avalon Park Fort, the most rickety, dangerous, outdated construction in the Hutt apart from the actual Hutt City Council Buildings and the old firestation on Waterloo Road.

I say rickety, but I mean wonderful. This is a classic example of the way things used to be, being better.

Hundreds, nay, thousands of kids have played here over the past 30 odd years and the plan is to rip it down and replace it with a structure called "Spaceball" - A 7 metre high globey climbing frame thingee.

It got me thinking about the structure I used to play on at Tahunanui School. It was one of the first in a style of Adventure Playgrounds and was known by us kids as "The Vench" and made a handy alternative to the car wreckers yards that we also used to frequent.

I remember being scared of the firemans pole til I'd done it a couple of times and the exhilaration of jumping off the structure and landing on the bark with a crash was some of my best learning experiences in Primary School. (This as well as seeing the girls flash their knickers on the bars...)

In later years, I was lucky enough to spend a bit of time at Burnham Military Camp and do the Krypton Factor Course - magnificent and frightening all at the same time but so good for this slightly chubby kid.

We went eeling in creeks and ditches and tunnels, much like the one that dear Aisling Symes got caught in, we set up jumps for our BMXs in the middle of the street, we messed around at the wharf, we made huts in empty sections and we had a ball. The cheapest playgrounds were a couple of massive cotton reels next to each other with a plank connecting them. The best ones had the fastest flying foxes.

Today's flying foxes are for sooks.

I actually have a theory about the PC brigade and it's this:

People don't ever complain about these sorts of things. Beaurocrats and journalists in glass ceilinged offices just come up with negative ideas and angles because they're sad and bitter.

What great places did you go to when you were a kid that have disappeared?


  1. The Paraparaumu Beach fun park. Maybe 10 years ago they tore down the waterslide, took away the bumper boats, ripped up the train track, and replaced it all with "safe" play equipment. Now it sucks ass :(

  2. The two massive evergreen trees they used to have at Greenmeadows Intermediate. They were huge, I had a hut at the top, and they were so close together you could leap from one to the other without injury. I swear, these trees were awesome like Jack at the top of his beanstalk!