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Weston park gone to seed

By grunge_hippy - 28 April 2008 50

Spending time with my daughter these holidays, I decided to take her and my nephew to Weston Park.  It was a favourite of mine as a child, and remember many a day exploring the treehouses, playing with the water park, riding the train and going in the hedgemaze.  It was the best damn park in the whole of Canberra.. 

 Well it isnt now. 

The hedgemaze is long gone, with the cypress trees used to create the maze are a tangled mess.  The train, which has not changed at all, is pityful.  It labours through what looks like a tip.  I swear I saw a shopping trolley dumped into what was supposed to be a lagoon.  It is lucky a 2 and 6 year old are easily amused.  It must be the whistle, becasue it wasnt the scenery!

The water park, lays bereft of water (water restrictions perhaps) lays unused.  There are some new spiderweb type climbing things and a couple of swings, but nothing to write home about.

 Where oh where have the treehouses gone?  Another victim of OH&S gone mad?  Yeah, i guess they could have been considered dangerous for those who didnt take care, but thats what made them FUN!

We promptly left and took the kids to Black Mountain Penisula.  At least the park there has something that kids want to play on.  Again, another favourite childhood haunt, and its still good.  I miss the coppers log playground, but I know they pulled that down after a child died… but from what i recall, it wasnt as a result of the playground itself, but an underlying heart problem.  Perhaps someone can enlighten us.

Does anyone else feel the parks in canberra have gone to pot?  I didnt dare go and look in commonwealth park today while we walked around the lake for fear that my favourite park, made of stone has also gone the way of the others.  I know there was talk of it being dismantled because it wasnt safe. 

Has fear of lawsuits made our children’s playground become so banal and boring!!!?!?!

What’s Your opinion?


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50 Responses to
Weston park gone to seed
andy pandy 7:22 pm 28 Apr 08

most of the parks are maintained very badly these days.
On another note does anyone play giant chess still? I am not interested in getting involved, just wondered if the chess pits were still used (I used to think it was really cool when I was a kid).

blaringmike 5:38 pm 28 Apr 08

Whoa ChrisinTurner. Keep that water one to yourself. Someone might actually start campaigning to have water banned.

ChrisinTurner 5:25 pm 28 Apr 08

But where does it stop? Children die riding bicycles too and they haven’t been banned…YET!! You can die from drinking too much water, and ACTEW still provides heaps of water!!

hobbyhorse1 3:53 pm 28 Apr 08

Although I agree with your general sentiment and agree that our parks are in a disgraceful state, as I understand it a young girl fell tragically to her death from one of the ‘tree-houses’ at Weston Park. I guess that there is a need for balance in these things but children’s safety must always be paramount.

AussieGal83 2:27 pm 28 Apr 08

Gordon Park is awesome. It has flying foxes, a play house and heaps of the usual playground suspects.

S4anta 1:52 pm 28 Apr 08

Ant,

High fives, those people you refer suck arse.

shakedown 12:56 pm 28 Apr 08

“Weston Park was always a huge treat when I was a kid. It was quite thrilling. But now we have cheap litigation, entitlement-minded parents and their cotton-wool kids.”

Not to mention rapacious developers and a “government” that sits right in their collective pocket.
Is it possible that the decline of parks in the ACT has anything to do with this?

ant 12:33 pm 28 Apr 08

Weston Park was always a huge treat when I was a kid. It was quite thrilling. But now we have cheap litigation, entitlement-minded parents and their cotton-wool kids.

Best keep them safely indoors playing violent computer games, or else if they go outside they might trip over and get a grazed knee.

Skidbladnir 12:22 pm 28 Apr 08

Japaene was meant to be “Japanese”, for reference.

Skidbladnir 12:08 pm 28 Apr 08

Fadden Pines was the shit in its day, but has been horrendously crippled by the fun police.
If I were in charge of playground design, I’d be doing my best to design something specifically to injure children.
(insert highlight reel of the Indiana Jones series and Japaene game shows)

The smart ones would soon work out a way to bypass the rotating shredders and learn to avoid the gigantic magnifying glass on hot days.

Sure, initially it would thin out the herd, but the risk management and hazard negotiation skills of any survivors would be of tremendous boon to the community.

Just one minor point to the original poster:
Quote: We promptly left and took the kids to Black Mountain Penisula.

You did what? See link: http://the-riotact.com/?p=3484

niftydog 12:01 pm 28 Apr 08

Maybe someone can confirm my vague memories of a massive coppers log fort in Kaleen that has apparently also gone by the wayside?

Thumper 11:48 am 28 Apr 08

Weston Park was brilliant.

Water pools, tree houses, mazes, trains, grassy areas, lake, it had everything.

I loved it when I was a kid.

It’s a pity it was allowed to fall into ruin.

hax 11:22 am 28 Apr 08

Yeah it’s a real sad shame these days, everything has to be so wrapped in cotton wool they pretty much don’t make anything fun.

It really shits me when some morbidly overweight lady in her 40’s goes on the kiddies flying fox and then falls on her fat ass, sues, and the whole thing gets pulled down. STAY OFF IT B#TCH

(add Fadden playground to the list, it used to be a 3-story kids wonderland. Now it’s just pathetic, like most of them are now)

lemaChet 11:07 am 28 Apr 08

THe fantastic tunnel/fort park was there in commonwealth park in 2007 at least. I suspect it’s probably still there..

blueberry 11:05 am 28 Apr 08

Yeah this makes me very sad aswell. I remember when canberra use to have lots of unique interesting parks now they are all being replaced with plastic ones that are all the same and don’t encorage any creativity in children.

But if i am not mistaken the fantastic tunnel park in commonwelth park is still there. Also the snake park at johnnight park is still there and lots of fun for kids.

It is a shame about the mouse house and the water park in western park though. Weston park was the location of some of my fondest child hood memorys

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