A busy week this week, especially in the Village with the opening of the brand new Community Playpark at David Livingstone Birthplace, just off Station Road.
As our photos show, contractors have been working hard on the new £115k playpark, which officially will open to the public this Thursday, 1st July 2021. It was a dull day when we took the photos, but these artists renders show better how it will look.
The main focal point of the playpark’s redesign will be a large multi-play structure based on David Livingstone’s steamship the ‘Ma Robert’ used on his second Zambezi expedition; a rain wheel, and other interactive activities for young people of all ages to explore.
Themed on African Rivers, the paddle steamship will be surrounded by play structures resembling palm trees, crocodiles and elephants, and the Victoria Falls will be represented by a moving carousel which swirls you round-and-round as if you are caught in the river’s rapids. The playpark’s physical experience is further heightened by the addition of sensory items including the sound of the Falls coming from a spinning rain wheel, and a large Marimba providing authentic African sounds.
Built from anti vandal, composite materials, rather than wood, further protection than the previous park, is offered through various new CCTV now installed around the buildings.
Grant MacKenzie, Interim Director, David Livingstone Birthplace said in a press release this week: “When the Birthplace closed, the existing playpark was in real need of a complete overhaul. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Blantyre Community led by Paul Veverka, and funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, we are delighted that we have been able to create a new space where children can let their imaginations run wild, learn about the story of Livingstone, and bring communities together outdoors.”
I was happy to contribute to this project becoming a reality, but the real and ultimate thanks go to everybody who supported Blantyre Telegraph by making a donation, ultimately over the course of the last couple of years providing a collective four figure sum to assist funding. It’s those people who made this happen once again showing what is possible when Blantyre Community comes together!
The café, shop and surrounding grounds will be open to the public without the need to purchase Museum admission. The museum re-opens on 28th July.
To find out more about the David Livingstone Birthplace and secure tickets for the museum, please visit www.david-livingstone-birthplace.org.
Photos Courtesy: Blantyre Telegraph