Street play proves a success

July 29 2019

IT is usually a busy cut-through for drivers avoiding Downend’s main shopping street.

IT is usually a busy cut-through for drivers avoiding Downend’s main shopping street.

But on a Sunday afternoon in July it was the sound of children playing that dominated Buckingham Place.
Bikes, scooters and radio-controlled cars were the fastest traffic on the through route between Salisbury Road and Westerleigh Road as marshals stood guard over the cones and ‘road closed’ signs.
Up to 75 people at a time took advantage of the two-hour window to play and socialise in the street.
Children played hopscotch, basketball and cricket, and drew chalk pictures on the road, while neighbours chatted and enjoyed food and drink from a stall set up on one front drive.
The event was the idea of Emma and Wade Touzalin, who live in the street with their children Addy, 3, and Jakub, 8 months. They talked to neighbours who helped plan the event, which took place on the stretch of Buckingham Place between the Buckingham Gardens and Westerleigh Road junctions.
Emma said the event had been a success, with a mixture of people of all ages taking part and donating food and toys.
She said: “It was lovely to see and meet so many of our local neighbours and many of us commented that we didn’t know there were that many children on the street!
“We knew we were competing with all the sport on TV but we feel really happy that, despite this, lots of people came out and enjoyed the session for how it was intended. One neighbour commented that it was lovely to see so many children being active on a Sunday afternoon and not a screen in sight.
“On the whole we didn’t have any issues with the traffic: we tried to do as much as we could to inform people of the event and explained to those who wanted to drive though on the day that there was still a route around, and they appeared happy with that.
“We feel really pleased that the session did bring people out of their houses and meet each other, both children and adults alike, which is what we wanted, and it was lovely to see the children just ‘playing out’ happily.We have a left our mark with all the colourful pictures on the road, which makes me smile when we see it, and look forward to the next one.”
A second play street event is planned on Buckingham Place between midday and 2pm on September 7.