Children are delighted with new pirate ship

Children from Barnacre Road Primary School play on the play area.
Children from Barnacre Road Primary School play on the play area.

A new pirate ship has been unveiled as part of a children’s play area this week.

Ribble Valley Mayor Michael Ranson officially opened the 40-ft-long, £24,000 galleon within the play area at John Smith’s Playing Field in Longridge on Monday.

The striking blue and red galleon, which is already delighting young children, has been funded by Ribble Valley Council and SITA and features a crawler tunnel, vertical climbing wall, rope bridge, deck slide, galleon cabin, rope tower, climbing nets, benches and overhead rigging.

John Smith’s Playing Field is based in a former quarry and still boasts quarry tunnels and the cast iron base of a crane, as well as stunning views.

The playing field was one of three Ribble Valley parks awarded diamond jubilee status by conservation charity Fields in Trust as part of a living legacy commemorating the Queen’s diamond jubilee year.

“This is brilliant news,” said Coun Rose Adamson at the time, who was then the Longridge mayor.

“It is one of my favourite places as, only minutes from the town centre, it’s like being in a park out in the open countryside.

“Visitors and those from the caravan park can walk down to the town through a really lovely space, people can play football, enjoy the children’s play area or just sit on the benches and look across the fields to the views – it’s absolutely wonderful.”

Robert Thompson, who was chairman of the borough’s community services committee at the time, said: “Now three of the borough’s iconic parks have received official jubilee status, which is particularly fitting, given that Ribble Valley is at the exact centre of the kingdom and has a strong association with Her Majesty the Queen.

“Green spaces like these provide free, safe places for our children and visitors to participate in a range of activities, and we are proud that they have been recognised in this manner.”