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The Events and People That Transformed Children's Play

The NPFA (National Playing Fields Association) was formed back in 1925 through a royal charter. The prime aim was to protect, acquire, and continuously improve the conditions of playgrounds, play areas, and playing fields. Later in the year 1980s, the primary aim was to form 700 different playing fields throughout the United Kingdom).

However, supervised playing provision had a big break later in the 1950s. It happened shortly after a report regarding juvenile delinquency and road safety by King George Jubilee Trust. After that, Drummond Abernethy was appointed as secretary, and Lady Marjorie Allen was also involved. This had a significant effect and helped a lot in establishing a national level supervised playing provision.

While Lady Allen was involved with UNICEF, she had a visit to the Sorenson's Emdrup playground situated in Denmark. The playground was under operation since the year 1943. Upon her return to the United Kingdom, Lady Allen led a very enthusiastic campaign for the encouragement of playgrounds in Britain. She also published a special edition Picture Post that said, "Why Not Use Our Bombed Sites Like These."

Furthermore, she also sent several letters to the Times newspaper. Later on, Sir George and Lady Allen both gave a proposition to rename junk playgrounds to adventure playgrounds. Later on, this proposition was also approved by the NPFA. During the same year, Britain saw the formation of a national steering committee at the Playfield House. Lieutenant-General Sir Fredrick Browning chaired this. Later on, it was under Lord Like.

Then, government legislation was passed which required the bombed sites to be converted into adventure playgrounds. Furthermore, some grants were provided to community playing associations for running these parks.

The prime source of these fungs was community fundraising and public subscriptions. Furthermore, some royalties were also donated by recording artists, including Elton John and Frank Sinatra. As a result of these efforts, 17 adventure playgrounds were formed between 1948 – 1960. However, these were experimental. They were led by Pat Turner and Harry Killick, who were both play leaders.

In the following years, Pat Turner did a lot of commendable work. He established 1'o'clock clubs and adventure playgrounds. He did this in London Parks. At the same time, Joe Benjamin, Ed Burman, and Gene Peckcarried out the same work in Camden. Furthermore, Mat McGuinn established parks in Glasgow where was Pat Smythe created them in Notting Hill.

Following these examples, many other people followed later in the 1970s. For instance, Jack Lambert had great success at the Welwyn Garden City whereas Stevenage Donne was quite successful at the Bandley Hill.

Later on, in the 1980s, there were a lot of concerns regarding child safety in unsupervised playgrounds. In this regard, there was a formation of the campaign safety committee, which was led by Donne Buck. This allowed the NPFA's safety group to achieve its vision of having safety surfaces on unsupervised playgrounds. This was one of the most significant achievements in playground history.

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