My memory of Crawley shines. Resident from when I stumbled in to junior school in 1955 to leaving for an east London poly in 1969. Returned to have my first child in 1977 and finally departed in 2005.
But the green spaces of the town are still with me so it was with dismay to hear of travellers parking on Hazelwick School field a week or so back. Certain measures might prevent this. 1. Having an entrance not wide enough without key for a caravan or the like to enter. 2. More plentiful camping spaces for travellers. All that is needed is some hard surface, a cold water tap, and sewage disposal facility. Travelling the highways and byways of our land is something we all cherish and it should be made plentiful for those who choose to do it permanently.
Returning to school fields and other unwanted guests. I seem to feel that the local Tesco occupies a fair section of it. Thomas Bennett has a sports centre and adjoining car park that used to sit kind of centrally to the town before somebody realised how much money was to be made by building four storey Hong Kong type flat complexes in its place. Ifield secondary complex has another whole school built on her green fields. Where that school was on the industrial estate edge of Langley Green now has a private hospital. Last and my very own mid 50s school at West Green. I spent many years walking to town via West Green Drive neighboured next to an expanse of grass that housed distant crows (the animal the town was named after). Today (don’t know where the birds have gone ?) it is a complex of old peoples’ dwellings. A school friend of mine took off in those distant late 60s days to do an architectural course in London. Part of his early studies was of the original planning level of Crawley New Town in the 1940s. When laid out on that post-war table top Crawley was designated to have one third of the town being given over to green space, grass. That was before caravan owners arrived or Tescos, private hospitals, four storey ugly flat complexes or old peoples homes. I think the travellers are the least of our worries but those who have gobbled up so much of a brilliant environmental idea need to use them to cover the tracks of the far larger money chasers.
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