Expired May 27, 2021 6:45 PM
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This event is available for free.

For the last two years General Public have been delving into the secret history of Birmingham's adventure playground movement, focussing on three 'ghost' playgrounds that emerged in the postwar period in Balsall Heath, Sparkbrook and Handsworth. This event includes a chance to see never-screened archive footage of the city at play, and to hear from a number of former playworkers and people who went to the playgrounds as children. We'll get a snapshot of the play movement within Birmingham from the 1970s to the present day, and explore the impact of these playgrounds on the lives of those who played and worked on them. How can access to imaginative play environments foster a lifelong relationship with creativity? And what is the 'state of play' in Birmingham today?

Participants include: Dave Swingle who was involved in multiple adventure playgrounds in Birmingham in the 1970s and 80s (including Malvern St Balsall Heath, Handsworth, Boulton Road Small Heath); Ali Wood, Chair of Trustees at Meriden Adventure Playground in Chelmsley Wood; and Haki Kapasi, who was involved in Playtrain & undertook pioneering research into Asian children's play.

See also: An outdoor exhibition of the 'Let Us Play' project will be on at Balsall Heath City Farm (next to the site of the old Malvern St Playground) from 25 June - 25 July before touring to Meriden Adventure Playground, Chelmsley Wood for the summer holidays. The project newspaper featuring oral histories and archive material will also be available to pick up from the exhibition.

For more information, or to get in touch with your own experiences of adventure playgrounds in Birmingham, please visit: generalpublic.org.uk/project/let-us-play

ATV and Central TV archive footage courtesy of the Media Archive for Central England

Presentation of the project by Chris Poolman & Elizabeth Rowe

  • Runtime
    15 minutes