An article from SPAG's February 2004 Newsletter
At last, one of SPAG’s campaigns looks as if it might produce results!
For years, anyone walking across Camberwell Green to the Southwark Pensioners Centre on a wet day has found the gateway leading out of the Green blocked by a large puddle. Unlike most large puddles, you can’t avoid this one by walking round the edges - it stretches right across from one gatepost to the other.
Until recently, it seemed that there were only three options, none of them really satisfactory. You could jump the puddle - hardly a practical proposition for most over-60s - or wade through it, at the risk of two wet feet, or return to the other end of the Green and walk along the road.
Recently, SPAG’s Secretary, Tony Lynes, discovered a fourth option. By swinging on the gate, you can cross the puddle without getting your feet wet. It’s great fun but, sadly, gate-swinging, like puddle-jumping, is not a popular activity among our elderly population - in fact, some octogenarians simply refuse to do it.
There is, of course, an obvious solution to this problem - get rid of the puddle! Persuading the Council's Parks Department to do this, however, has proved a challenging task. Despite numerous phone calls over the past two years or more, the puddle is still there.
But things seem about to change. A Parks Department official recently told us that orders had been given to install a ‘soakaway’ - a hole in the ground through which, it is hoped, the rain water will drain away.
We won’t be organising a victory party just yet. We don’t know how many months the Council’s contractors will need to drill a hole. Nor can we be sure that the hole won’t get blocked with leaves after the next shower. But at least something is being done.