The Independent London Newspaper
19th May 2019

What’s going on behind closed doors at Coram’s Fields?

    Published: 8 October, 2015

    • WHAT is going on at Coram’s Fields?

    This proud institution, founded by selfless residents’ fundraising effort in 1936, and standing in the spirit of the great philanthropist and reformist Thomas Coram, has been experiencing a dramatic freefall over the last couple of years. Once one of London’s most cherished parks, dedicated solely to the benefit of children – it still displays the sign “Adults allowed only if accompanied by children.” This is eminently not true any more. Coram’s Fields have recently started wholesale substitution of children and teenage users for paying adults who now mostly occupy the playing fields. 

    Incredibly Coram’s have recently rented the entire park to a family’s wedding – on a bank holiday Sunday! 

    Not so long ago Coram’s Fields had strong links with the local community: Local youth organisations, schools and organisations were all represented on its board.

    At present Coram is intending to hold its AGM behind closed doors. It appears that Coram’s Fields board members are drawn from a tightly-knit group of political representatives and community outsiders, with restricted input from regular park users. At the same time Coram’s Fields are not acting upon petitions from local parents. 

    Two past petitions gained wide support in the community but produced reluctant, limited and temporary adjustments in Coram’s. With its “behind-closed-doors” policy, Coram’s Fields seems to be telling the local community that it will carry on regardless of issues raised.

    We believe Coram’s Fields’ leadership needs to be reminded of Coram’s historic legacy, its responsibility towards all sections of young population of south Camden and central London in general. Their failure to seek to understand and consult with its local users, parents and guardians is a failure of the spirit and purpose of the park. Most importantly, this is causing significant damage to its many children and teenage users dependent on Coram’s Fields.

    Coram’s Parents Association, 
    Chair, Tybalds Close TRA


    Posh Patch of Grass-The Children's Park that is also a Disco.

    It does seem an incredible oversight and infringement to book out the entire park over a bank holiday weekend when parents have time for an outing to the park and it is more in demand than usual by the users it is intended for. Could we perhaps compromise and allow for kiddy cocktails for the locals over the specific weekend in question? Perhaps the children could be hired as wait staff and pass out the appetizers.

    It's bad enough that Coram Fields now ban children from riding bicycles in the park. Where exactly should they ride their bikes if they are just five years old? In the living room? The pavement is an option with the all the commuting office workers on their mobiles. Perhaps the local children should ride in the street with all the taxis, buses and cars.

    Ah, But what do children contribute to the park? Do they vote or pay taxes? No. Why should they have a say? They should stay home in their cramped up apartments. Parents and their children playing in a park? What a waste of space. Such an old fashioned idea. People have moved on since then. Get a tv.

    Corporate creep is happening everywhere....."You are too little, shallow-pocketed, and unimportant to be inhabiting this WC1 location. We can get much more money out of this posh patch of grass if we replace you with our corporate sponsors. All we need is a tent, some music and champagne. " Good bye Park. Hello Disco.

    In the past, Coram Fields have often utilized the less desirable left patch of grass for corporate functions that usually happen on cold winter evenings when the park is less populated by its intended users. Using half of the park in the colder months did not infringe on the families and children that the park is for as stated in the charter. I have, however, rarely heard of the entire park going missing. Goodbye Park.

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