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Saturday, 28 June 2008

Good moves for Merriman Park

The Gazette on Thursday reported a move to 'reclaim' Merriman Park.

This is great. I've always been fond of the park, and wished it could be better used. There's the annual Remembrance Day parade there, and that's about it.

I did, however, take exception to the anti-young people bias that showed through the first paragraph of the Gazette report, and posted a comment, which I repeat here.

This is really good news. When I moved to Street there were band concerts in Merriman Park, on Sunday afternoons I think.

But ...

They tell me that 'the council' (whether Mendip or who I don't know) had the superstructure removed because young people used to gather in its shelter. Were they doing unspeakable things? Like socialising, or hanging out, as all young people do?

They still do gather on the bandstand platform. Shock horror! Let them go to Envy and get properly drunk there, like civilised citizens!

As you may gather, I'm troubled by the opening paragraph of your report about "reclaim a Victorian park in Street and change it from a youth hangout and no-go area into a space to be used by the whole community." If the whole community uses it, it will belong to the whole community. If adults don't go there (but in fact they do) then young people will treat it as theirs.

We don't need youth-phobia.
There's another suggestion I'd like to make. Put a small pedestrian-width entrance near the Silver Road and Merriman Road/Oriel Road crossing. That would encourage shoppers on their way south from the High Street to take a detour and enjoy the trees and whatever new delights the authorities decided to add. At present the south entrance is just a little too far out of the way to tempt the laden shopper. A bench by the path would be welcome, too.

Some pics of the park:

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