Special swing finally installed in play area

Isaac Allen, aged 14 months ,and his father Ian.
Isaac Allen, aged 14 months ,and his father Ian.
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A special parent-and-child swing has been installed in Beadnell after a two-year wait and despite a series of challenges.

Members of Beadnell Community Volunteers spotted the Expression Swing on the internet in 2015 and hoped to install it in the popular village playground.

However, research showed the sole manufacturer was in the USA and the nearest supplier in County Down in Northern Ireland.

The company, Garden Escapes, was happy to supply the swing to England, but, to save transport costs, it was agreed that the volunteers would buy the frame nearer to home rather than import it from America.

The volunteers group organised an open-garden event in June last year and successfully raised the funds they needed to buy the swing, but found the price had risen since their first inquiry.

However, Garden Escapes kindly offered to honour its initial price which had been an introductory offer. The swing was delivered in September 2016.

However, the group then found the other playground equipment suppliers they contacted, nearer to home, were either not interested in supplying just a standard swing frame or they quoted a price which was way above the budget.

Frustrated by the delay and with the swing lying unused in a garage, last month, Jennifer Hall sent out a plea on Facebook and Twitter, which was shared by thousands of people across the North East.

“I was amazed by the response,” said Jennifer. “It was Spring Bank Holiday weekend and unfortunately some adults had left broken bottles and caused damage to the playground, the first time this had happened since the play equipment was installed eight years ago.

“I was so angry I asked people to help me find a company willing to install the swing and one of the first to respond was Stuart Graham at Cheviot Smithy. Not only did he offer to build and install a frame at an affordable price, he also offered to repair a metal ladder, free of charge, from another piece of apparatus which had to be removed following a safety inspection.”