Nundle’s architect designed wool-themed playground, opened in November 2009, with a community celebration featuring the singing of “Click go the Shears,” “Bob Worley shearing,” and Librarian and Pre-school Director Gae Sipple, reading Mem Fox’s, “Where is the Green Sheep.”
The project is the culmination of three years of volunteer work by the Nundle Community Development Committee Playground Sub-committee. Tamworth Regional Council staff provided essential project management experience and additional labour.
The playground cost $110,000, funded by a $70,000 Federal Government grant and $40,000 raised by 10 private donors and three community groups (Wombramurra Black Simmentals, Old Church Boutique, Nundle Arts Council, Clr Robert Schofield, Peter Schofield and family, The Peel Inn, the Grant family, Gastronomy, Gordon and Olita Stewart, Hills of Gold Motel, Nundle and District Lions Club, Nundle Woollen Mill and Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores).
The NCDC commissioned Sydney-based playground designer, Fiona Robbe, http://www.architectsofarcadia.com.au/contact/ to design an extraordinary playground for the community and Harry Pearson http://www.harrypearsonplaygrounds.com.au/ to build the playground.
Fiona visited Nundle and Hanging Rock with her family and was particularly taken with the Nundle Woollen Mill bordering Captain Cook Park. At the time Fiona and her children were completing knitted squares for the ABC Radio’s “Wrapped with Love charity.”
Fiona came back to the community with a proposal for a wool-themed playground representing the stages involved in making a ball of wool.
There are the kelpie and sheep rockers, wonderful timber shearing shed printed with local wool brand stencils and with climbing ramp and slippery dip, running drum representing the carding machine, balancing challenge representing the Whitten Spinning Frame and rotating spinners representing the Dandy Rover that twists three strands into one. A net tunnel represents a giant ball of wool and the giant timber knitting needles support four swings.
Since the opening of the park the community has added a timber seat around the liquid amber tree and a timber bench. The barbecue and picnic seating has been upgraded.
The playground has become a focal point for the community. It is used by the Nundle CWA Pre-school for “hanging time”, families and friends gather for birthday parties and barbecues.
The best reward for volunteers who worked on the project is seeing people of different generations enjoying the park and perhaps a car pull up and children spilling out exclaiming “Look at this!”.
Listen to a discussion about the importance of natural play, including Nundle’s wool-themed playground. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bushtelegraph/playgrounds/4871890
Architect designed wool-themed playground
Quality timber construction
Shearing shed with climbing ramp and slippery dip
Local wool brands stenciled onto timber
Giant knitting needle swings
Picnic and barbecue facilities
Public toilets across the road
Bordered by Nundle Woollen Mill, Nundle Swimming Pool and Café Nundle