Residents unhappy after 'bongos' installed in children's playground

Park chiefs have hit the wrong note with some posh residents after installing 'bongos' and musical instruments in a children's playground.

A set of three colourful drums and a xylophone were installed during the refurbishment of a play area in the up-market suburb of St Andrew's in Bristol.

But the instruments have struck the wrong chord with locals who say the din from them now makes the area 'too noisey to think.'

The playground was reopened on December 19 after two months of being closed for refurbishment - but not everyone is thrilled about its new play equipment.

The new installations for children include a colourful xylophone and a set of three bongo drums.

Since news of the opening was posted on the park's Facebook page on December 20, visitors of the park have been quick to express their concerns about its noisy musical instruments.

Some have welcomed the new addition of musical instruments for the children - but not everyone is keen.

Resident George Clarke, who has lived in the area for 25 years, said he can appreciate the idea behind instruments in park - but that it has left the area too noisy to chat or even think.

Mr Clarke said: "Whilst respecting a fun idea, I don't think the park is big enough to be an appropriate setting for permanent noise play instruments.

"St Andrew's Park is the only green retreat for the many in areas who don't have cars or indeed the many who live in flats with no garden.

"Sadly installing permanent noise-making instruments in the centre of a small park means there is nowhere for other users or nearby residents to get away from the resulting racket."

He added: "Permanent noise means activities such as just enjoying nature, thinking, meditating recharging batteries in nature or even chatting to friends are effectively wrecked.

"It also inadvertently sends out messages to children that it's OK not to spare a thought for anyone else and to dominate with noise and be selfish and less appreciative of the natural environment."

Mr Clarke says creating a musical space for children to attend would be more ideal rather than a small park where noise travels.

"I would gladly donate to a music making space for children," he added.

He believes parks should be respected for their "uniquely green aspects"  and not just seen as "glorified playgrounds for the sole use of young families."

He added: "Most people in favour of this installation drive to the park and then drive off again.

"But for those without a car or who live in a flat, they now can't go in their only green oasis, which they need for wellbeing, without getting a headache."

Mr Clarke says the St Andrew's park is simply too small for and it's difficult to get away from the noise when the instruments are hit.

He said: "No-one can get away from the sound of the play installations - although it would be a lovely idea in a more appropriate space."

However, a number of people disagree with Mr Clarke - stating that it is a children's park and that there should be "noise, fun, and laughter".

Writing on the Facebook page, Amy Mills said: "I think the chimes make a really nice sound. The park is very busy in the day so lots of noise from the kids is expected."

Mum-of-three Melanie Kenson wrote: "It's great, the park needed this! Let kids be kids and have some fun. They don't play quiet anyway."

And Paul Tinkler added: "Ridiculous. I have never heard these noises and we spend loads of time in the park. Get over it."