Kids reduced to tears after new play area in Central Park, Harold Hill, destroyed by arsonists

10:33 17 March 2014

The newly revamped children

The newly revamped children's play area was badly arson-damaged. Picture: Marc Ayres


Children have been reduced to tears and residents left “shocked and upset” after arsonists caused severe fire damage to a new play area in Harold Hill.

Children have been left in tears by the damage. Picture: Marc AyresChildren have been left in tears by the damage. Picture: Marc Ayres

The vandals struck at Central Park on Friday night, setting ablaze the climbing frame and slide, and causing scorch damage to the specialist soft ground.

The revamped play area had only opened two weeks ago and had been well-received by youngsters, parents said.

It formed part of Havering’s Council’s £1.5m investment into the park and followed consultation with 1,500 residents.

Resident Marc Ayres, whose daughter used the site, said: “For this to happen has shocked and upset many people round here. This play area is fantastic for the kids and my daughter loved it. Such a shame.”

The play area has only been open for a couple of weeks. Picture: Marc AyresThe play area has only been open for a couple of weeks. Picture: Marc Ayres

Mum Dawn Simson said: “The new park they built was wonderful, I took my son there and he loved it. Parents are disgusted [by the arson] and something needs to be done.”

Others have been voicing their anger on Twitter.

Emma Tate wrote: “Absolutely gutted, Central Park [play area] has been burnt down. Kids loved it. Any chance they would rebuild it?”

Andrew Jeffrey added: “Kids crying regarding the fire in the park’s new play site, poor kids, the police need to find [the perpertrators].”

Check back here for updates.

Let the Recorder know how you feel about the arson. Email or call 020 8477 3878.

Related articles

Latest News Stories

Ivana Bartoletti

An NHS worker and a mother expecting her second child, Labour’s London Assembly candidate, Ivana Bartoletti, wants to send a message of “trust and hope”.

Picture: BrianAJackson

The A127 Ardleigh Green Bridge was reduced to a single lane carriageway in both directions on Monday as work to replace it continues.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced a multi-million plan for the redevelopment of 86 acres of industrial land owned by the Greater London Authority in London Riverside on Friday.

A multi-million plan to develop 86 acres of riverside land will regenerate at least eight run-down industrial sites in Rainham.

Yesterday, 17:57
Circus big top. Picture: Johnny Green/PA

Rival circuses are accusing each other of using “every trick in the book” to drum up publicity for their own event after rolling into town at the same time.

Yesterday, 17:24
Rainham Hall

An 18th century manor upheld as one of the country’s finest surviving examples of a Georgian merchant’s home has opened to the public for the first time.

Yesterday, 14:55
The site would be one of three in London. Picture: David Parry/PA

Drivers could be popping into Rainham to charge their hydrogen-fuelled cars within 18 months after developers earmarked the area for their £31million project.

Yesterday, 12:29
Gray Gardens

A teenager has been charged with kidnap and attempted robbery after an abduction in Elm Park.

Yesterday, 10:31

Staff from F Barnes Solicitors holding a fundraising event for Saint Francis Hospice at Romford Bowls Club.

Businesses donated both their time and money for a good cause.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder