Play park to commemorate work of caring councillor

At the Juliet Oakley Activity Area dedication ceremony is the Chair of Pegswood Parish Council Cllr Peter Stonell, centre, and Rev John Park who led the dedication.
At the Juliet Oakley Activity Area dedication ceremony is the Chair of Pegswood Parish Council Cllr Peter Stonell, centre, and Rev John Park who led the dedication.

PEGSWOOD residents turned out in force to honour a community champion, whose name has been given to a new play area.

Reverend John Park led an act of dedication for the Juliet Oakley Activity Area before the start of the village’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The former parish councillor died after a long illness last autumn.

She had been the driving force behind getting the funding in place for the area and played a major part in organising the official opening of the facility by the Duchess of Northumberland in June 2011.

New signs designed by pupils from Pegswood First School were unveiled at the event.

The play area in Welfare Park includes a slide, grass mound, rope climbing frame, basket swing and rope-swing, dry river beds with sand pits and tunnels.

Parish Chairman Peter Stonell said: “As a parish councillor, Juliet Oakley was passionate in her caring for the people of Pegswood and especially committed to its young people and their needs, and it was her inspiration and drive which led to the building of this adventure playground.

“It was in recognition of Juliet’s vision that we resolved, with the agreement of her family, that this area should be known as the Juliet Oakley Activity Area.

“We’re also very grateful to the children of Pegswood First School for the signs, which the Duchess of Northumberland recognised as outstanding when they were first drawn.

“It was the start of a wonderful day as everyone had a lot of fun at the picnic during the afternoon, which included music from the Newbiggin Brass Band and Zumba and tribal dancing. I’ve never seen so many people from the village come together as they did for these events. Everyone then had a smashing night at a sell-out disco in the Welfare.”

All children under 16 who live in Pegswood could pick up a commemorative mug on the day. Those who missed out can still get theirs at the council’s offices, off Front Street. For more information, call 01670 514299.