Residents revive street playtime

Parents of children in Dransfield Road, Crosspool, arranged for their street to be closed so their children could play outside safely. Our picture shows parents, from left, Katie Borland, Beckie Howe and Bron Ray, with youngsters who were able to playout in the street.
Parents of children in Dransfield Road, Crosspool, arranged for their street to be closed so their children could play outside safely. Our picture shows parents, from left, Katie Borland, Beckie Howe and Bron Ray, with youngsters who were able to playout in the street.

Carefree children playing together safely in the street sounds like a vision of a bygone era.

But that was exactly the scene on Dransfield Road in Crosspool, Sheffield, last week.

Children rode their bikes, kicked footballs and drew on the road in chalk as their parents watched with a smile.

The idea came from resident Bron Ray, who read about a similar scheme in an area of Bristol last year.

After pitching the idea to Sheffield Council, permission was granted for the road to be closed to traffic for two hours.

“It was just fantastic to see,” said Bron, aged 40. “We deliberately made it quite unstructured so that the kids could just do what they wanted.”

Bron, who has two children aged five and two, said it brought back memories of her own childhood.

“When I was little we lived in quite a rural area and our mum would open the back door and send us out for a few hours,” she said.

“I wanted my children to be able to enjoy being outside the same way we did.”

Another resident who helped to organise the event was Beckie Howe, who grew up in Dransfield Road.

“Everyone used to play out in the street from the moment we got home until bed time,” said Becky, whose two boys are five and seven.

“There seem to be a lot more cars on the road now but this scheme gives our children a chance to experience playing outside like we did, and gets them away from the television too.”

The scheme will be repeated on Coverdale Road, Nether Edge, today (Thursday).