The Canyon

Before the Playscheme

By Ann Whitaker

We moved to Stevenage in Nov 1951 into the Monkswood area when there were no roads, shops or schools.  The best playground for all us London kids was the canyon which is on the far side of Fairlands Valley.  At that time it was a real adventure playground long before Health and Safety stepped in and we all had a grand time climbing up the hills and slidding down on our bums. Many a smack was dealt to us for having no backsides in our jeans. Some how we all survived though.


This page was added on 22/09/2011.

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  • Ted Ansell (R.I.P) ran the place for many, many years and even let bands rehearse there for only a few quid. Good guy, never forgotten. 👍🏻

    A true hero of the community.

    By John (05/01/2020)
  • O my gosh I lived opposite the hydean way shops and have wonderful memories of the canyon as an only child it was a fabulous place to play I was about 10 yrs old ar the time I remember the swing ropes bonfires hot potatoes and black sausages burnt to a crisp wow how we enjoyed it children with cuts bruises and other injuries not to mention stepping on a nail which had been dropped of forgotten these were the days I loved school Hollidays my favourite thing was helping to make the camps we would hammer nail saw tie pieces of wood together with rope and carpet our new tree house oh what fun it was never no trouble there we had a great time

    By Sandra Wright (nee field) (08/10/2019)
  • Yes remember well great memories

    By Michael bradford (24/02/2019)
  • I maybe wrong but i remember two caves that where dug in the canyon wall , the one near the Peartree, and when one caved in and a boy was trapped, I thought he died but may be wrong. I remember they fenced it of for a week while the caves where destroyed,

    By Roy Hooper (17/04/2013)
  • I lived in Leaves Spring and played at the canyon for many years. I also worked there for a short time and remember the frequent trip to the hospital with kids and cut heads etc. it was the most exciting place, tree houses and rope pulleys…and no-one as far as I know ever died !!

    By moira granger (21/01/2012)