Let Us Play

The History of the Birmingham Adventure Playground Movement: Call-Out / Interviewees wanted

Do you have memories of playing at adventure playgrounds in
Birmingham between the 1960s & 1980s?

Maybe you played at Balsall Heath, Sparkbrook, Handsworth or Selly Oak
(Coronation Road) Adventure Playground? Or perhaps at Hockley Port Youth Centre?

We have secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Foundation to explore the history of the Adventure Playground movement in Birmingham, specifically to explore two lost or ‘ghost’ adventure playground sites that emerged in the post-war period (Balsall Heath & Sparkbrook) and one contemporary site (Meriden, Chelmsley Wood).* We will be working with young people in close proximity to the playground sites to set up three ‘junior researcher’ groups who will undertake oral history training, conduct interviews with people connected to the playgrounds and help to promote a call out for archive material relating to the wider adventure playground movement in Birmingham. 

Do you have any photos of playing at adventure playgrounds in Birmingham? Would you be interested in been interviewed about your memories of playing at adventure playgrounds in Birmingham? Please email us at generalpublicprojects@gmail.com or phone 07792736125

*Balsall Heath & Sparkbrook Adventure Playgrounds are historical sites that emerged in the late 1960s. These were temporary ‘junk playgrounds’ set-up on patches of urban waste-land designed to offer city children access to outdoor play. Set-up by local playworkers and local people, these sites were stocked with ‘loose parts’ of discarded wood, abandoned building materials and other detritus as children were encouraged to construct their own play environments. 


Audio clips from interview with Ray Wills who helped to set up Balsall Heath Adventure playground.