Ball games in village banned for decades

Where do we play?
Where do we play?

THERE has been a strong response to last week’s story about families angry with a letter sent out by New Lanark Trust repeating earlier warnings that ball games should not be played in communal gardens.

The Trust had, as reported, received a letter of complaint signed by 16 residents of Long Row about “noisy games of football” on the communal green at Braxfield Row.

Angry mums who spoke to the Gazette stated that the village, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was not child-friendly and that youngsters, in primary or of pre-school age, were “being vilified for being children”.

One woman who contacted the Gazette afterwards said that even when she was a child they were never allowed to play ballgames in the communal greens.

But she said: “What the residents who have contacted you have failed to mention in their complaint is that it is not just the constant thumping of a football being hit against the buildings that is becoming a nuisance but the number of times the ball is being hit over the wall towards the other houses and hitting plants and garden furniture and the danger of the windows being hit also.

“New Lanark is a conservation area and with this comes rules designed to ensure that all villagers can live and enjoy the area without complaint.

“The letter that was sent to the New Lanark Trust did not mention that the children could not play in the communal greens; it merely focused on the continual thumping of a football that was becoming at times unbearable. Many of the residents in Long Row no longer wished to sit outside as the constant thumping was at times so annoying.”

And the woman, who did not want to be named, added: “With regards to the comment it appears they do not like children playing, that is simply not true; in fact the letter of complaint sent to the Trust stated that we understand children will play but it’s the constant thump that is becoming a nuisance.”

And she told the Gazette: “I’m stunned at the hostility and unease that this issue is causing. The Trust has over a number of years issued letters to all residents regarding this.

“Living in a conservation area like New Lanark comes with rules and sometimes you just have to accept them.”