I AM writing to you as a warning to parents of young children who wish to use the skateboard/scooter park at Titchfield Park, Hucknal.
Last month, on a beautiful clear winter’s day, I took my two children (aged six and nine) to the park with their scooters, delivered at Christmas by Santa Claus.
On arriving, there were at least 25 to 30 older children/youths, ranging from ten to their early 20s. They were all lined up on the top of the ramps with BMX bikes, scooters and skateboards.
Most of the time, they were just sat there, leaving little room for the younger children to use the ramps. They would then set off, three or four at a time, doing their stunts, completely oblivious of the younger children.
The language they were using in their normal conversations was absolutely disgusting. I felt intimidated, let alone my young children.
One of the older boys (I would guess to be in his very late teens because he had a beard) took off on his skateboard, fell off and the skateboard carried on, hit the facing ramp, bounced off and hit my nine-year-old son on his shin, causing a buckle-break at the bottom of his tibia and a hairline fracture at the top. His fibula was bent.
As my son fell to the ground in agony, some of the older children laughed.
The ignorant boy who broke my son’s leg even had the audacity to swear at my son for being in his way when, in fact, he was just waiting to go down the smaller ramp.
The worst of it all was not one person came forward to help my son up or check if he was all right (with the exception of one of our neighbours, a 12-year-old boy who did all he could to help).
My younger daughter was very upset on seeing the accident but still no help was offered.
I had to carry my son, while my six-year-old daughter had to take the two scooters. Yet still no offer of help. Just lots of laughing from the older children.
I pride myself on both of my children’s manners, politeness and compassion for others. At what age does it become not cool to apologise, offer help or show a little compassion?
There are occasions when we have been to Titchfield Park in the past, and the groups of teenagers and older youths have sat there drinking alcohol and smoking. What would the parents of these children think if they were to witness this behaviour? Or do they already know?
In view of the economic state of our council and many other local authorities, I guess a park warden is out of the question — and I guess they would also be subject to abuse.
I have spoken to many parents of young children who love to use the skate park and we all feel there ought to be an upper age-limit of say, 16.
I don’t know what the answer is. Does anyone else? I for one will not be in a hurry to revisit Titchfield Park. How many other parents feel the same?