Do you care about Bell’s Yard?

Jesmond residents interested in taking part in the discussion around Bell’s Yard and its use are being invited to attend the annual general meeting of the Bell’s Yard Group (formerly Bell’s Yard Regeneration Group) on Tuesday 26th April 2011 at 7.30pm, in the upstairs room of the Royal British Legion on West Jesmond Avenue.

“It’s great to get involved,” says organiser Jude Kennett, who lives on Lily Crescent. “We’re encouraging anyone interested to come along and help to make changes and contribute to the success of our valuable play space or just find out what’s happening.”

For further details contact, email her at [email protected]


14 thoughts on “Do you care about Bell’s Yard?”

  1. EM says:

    We do care about bells yard but we also care about our property that is getting damaged by the users of the ridiculous MUGA in Bell’s Yard.

    See you at the meeting!

  2. EM says:

    Most people do not know what is happening in Bells’s Yard and how close by residents have had to move out because of the placement of the MUGA and the nuisance caused by it.

    We think it would be interesting to show everyone the evidence of the nuisance.

  3. Jude Kennett says:

    I have just read the negative messages sent by local residents. I am a member of the local community who has worked positively to preserve this valuable play space; I am not part of an ‘Action Group’. As local residents you are welcome to attend the meeting, but it wasn’t intended to host a debate about residents complaints; rather more an opportunity for local people to come along and talk about improving play facilities for children and young people living Jesmond.

    Jude Kennett

  4. Fiona Clarke says:

    Bell’s Yard was there and used for ball games long before Cannaught Mews was built. Did solicitor’s searches not reveal that there was a playground next door? Why should property developer’s greed stop play?

  5. EM says:

    @Jude Kennett

    Your son and his friends have been trespassing in our car park(and the metroline) and damaging the fence in the process for over a year now, as well as hitting our walls and windows and laughing , celebrating about it, would you like to see the evidence (one of them has been actually kicking balls away from little children)?? Are you not the one who said that you would never let us join the BYG? That is not legal!

    @Fiona Clarke

    I challenge you to find a MUGA so close to a building as the one in Bell’s Yard. As I wrote to you on my email(you know who I am) there is no MUGA so close to a building in the whole of the NorthEast. Residential amenity has been compromised. People from 3 flats have moved out from the Connaught Mews building because of the (I am quoting the words of policemen here) “the ridiculous position of the goal post in front of the building”.

    When are you actually going to understand (or maybe you do but just do not want to admit) that Connaught Mews residents do not actually have a problem with people playing in the yard?(This is what you have used against us , that we do not want children play “nice cheap tactic”) We do have a huge problem with footballs hitting our walls, windows (daily), landing in the car park, with people deciding to damage the property to get a football back? Certainly you would feel the same as us if a goal post was positioned in front of your property.

    It is very easy to say you did this (regeneration of Bell’s Yard) for the children when you do not want to even see the facts. The facts are:
    There should not be a MUGA in Bell’s Yard (The designer of it “Michael Hall” apologized to us for positioning a MUGA so close to our building)

    Please explain to me the developers “greed”? Please explain to me your true motives in your actions in the yard? Did you see my email of the damage they have caused in the building?


  6. Emma says:

    Jude: I am all FOR children and young people using the play facilities. The problem that I as a resident have is that currently, very few of them actually use them. Instead, it is used by students and people like your son who would rather cause problems for the residents than actually play. I personally know quite a few young mothers living in Jesmond who will not take their children to the playground because they are scared of the people using the MUGA. So all in all, it seems to me that the purpose has been defeated here.
    Fiona: I don’t understand your comment re property developers, nor do I understand why any complaint made by residents about this MUGA is always dismissed. I do not understand either why you are so adamant about saying we want to stop play. This is not the case. Was this playground monitored and open only to the people who should be using it, we would not be having this conversation.

  7. Emma says:

    @Fiona Clarke: why are you talking about “developers’ greed”? I don’t understand what this has to do with the current situation. This is not a case of Connaught Mews residents vs. Bells Yard, but rather a case of concerned residents being involved in their local community, bringing up issues, and fruitlessly trying to open a dialogue with the people involved in what is causing these very issues. Unfortunately, any attempt at having a civil dialogue with you or Jude Kennett has only been met with comments such as the ones above instead of constructivism.

  8. aslak says:

    Fiona Clarke writes, “Why should property developer’s greed stop play?”
    Am I alone in finding this woeful misrepresentation of the MUGA issue in Bell’s Yard quite breathtaking? Is Fiona Clarke determined to demonise Connaught Mews residents outright?

  9. Pat says:

    I’m fascinated how Connaught Mews residents do not seem to be Jesmond residents and part of the community if you ask Msses Clarke Kennet. Anyone who dares to voice any concerns over issues that affect their lives every single day (and often night!) is clearly a monster who hates children and not part of Jesmond community!

    Please, please see the complains for what they are: they are not anti-children or anti-playground. Clearly the playground was there when the building was built, but the building was clearly there when the offensive MUGA was put up — the only one in NE so close to where people are trying to live. And in all honesty, the playground as it was before was NOT for ball games, there were clear signs on the walls to that effect.

    Everyone welcomes children and, frankly, the MUGA there makes sure that children are in fact crammed to just a couple of play things in the area. The only people who benefit from the MUGA are lads who are big and old enough to play in many other places. They come in cars late at night so it’s clearly not a question of having something intimately local at their disposal. How many times have Msses Clarke and Kennet been woken up to have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to tell grown lads to stop making a racket? Should we send them to your front door next, since this type of activity does not sound anti social to you? How much are Connaught Mews residents expected to pay in repairs when the “protective” net is broken through and our fire escape gate is vandalised and ruined time after time?

    To develop the site further for the benefit of children, I suggest the MUGA moves and the area is used for things that CHILDREN can use. This issue has nothing to do with developer greed, and everything to do with trying to live as a genuine community where the enjoyment of but a few is not valued more than decent living and working environement of many.

  10. Paul says:

    EM, Emma and aslak, I agree with all your comments. I have lost count of the number of times my window has been hit. And when you try and ask the people in there (who, by the way, are almost never children) to calm down, all you get is abuse.
    Some are regulars, repeat offenders, who obviously only come to Bells Yard to stir up trouble. In particular, there is a group of older teenagers, or maybe even students, who purposely aim at the building repeatedly.
    This playground may have been made with the best of intentions, to provide “play facilities for children and young people living Jesmond”, but it has turned into a child-less hell of teenage and adult anti social behaviour, as well as a local hangout for drug users and underage drinking.
    Fiona Clarke: I completely agree with aslak that comments like yours not only misrepresent the situation, but that they are also offensive.

  11. Beccy says:

    As a mother of a three year old son, I am very grateful to have bells yard nearby. It provides important play space in a community where many families have limited outdoor space at their homes. Contrary to messages here, many of my friends with young children regularly use bells yard and I also know that my son’s nursery take the children there and they love it. I think it is important to have a safe space for ball games as it is dangerous for children to play football in the streets and back alleys as so many are used as rat runs. Thanks to all who have worked to redevelop bells yard and I hope that there will be additional facilities and equipment added in the future.

  12. Emma says:

    Dear Beccy, if this is the case, then please, please by all means use the Yard much more and make sure you bring round all your children’s friends as well! That is what I have been telling my friends too. I truly feel sad that so many children are being kept out of the facilities. It is so lovely when the Yard is full of children and far too rare in my opinion!
    Out of curiosity, is the nursery you mention the one with the children dressed in red? We’ve seen them a few times and love it when they’re here, but it is unfortunately not that often. How great would it be if all nurseries and schools around Jesmond used the Yard!
    @Jude and Fiona: Maybe it should be up to the BYRG to set that up? That would indeed be a great improvement, and one I am sure many local residents would approve of.

  13. Richard says:

    I empathise with all the comments from Connaught Mews residents on this thread. I lived in a flat between 2008 and 2009, during which time the MUGA was constructed. To those that underestimate the effect the football court has on the surrounding properties (not just Connaught Mews) I suggest you stand and watch for a few hours on a Saturday.

    It may have changed since then, but the worst offenders were a group of about eight teenagers (14/15 years old) that took up virtual residency on the football court. On a weekend day my sitting room window would be struck a dozen times (no exaggeration) and any request to keep the ball down were met with abuse, aggression and threats. The students and older crowd weren’t so bad as they wanted to play football and the ball usually stayed in the court, but the teenagers got more pleasure when the ball hit a window or a car.

    No doubt these kids are the darling offspring of some of Jesmond’s most respectable residents.

    I lasted six months living with the football court before I moved out. Whoever suggested and approved the size and positioning of the football court should be forced to live in one of the flats for a few weeks.

  14. M Gooch says:

    We have a similar pboblem in Suffolk, the consent is for every day of year unti 10pm and we have no respite and are unable to ejoy our garden especiall summer evenings.

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