As a huge fan of Queen’s Park in Heywood, I figured that Rochdale Council must know what they’re doing park-wise and it’s about time that we checked out one of their other play areas. Truffet Park is on a large council estate near to J19 of the M62 and the centre of Middleton, and has clearly had a recent revamp. Everything here is immaculate.
We pulled onto the smallish carpark and headed straight for the brightly coloured playarea – aimed at under 11’s. There was plenty there to keep CJ happy – including playmates. She was on very good form today. I’ve been rather worried about a recent refusal to go down slides, which are usually her favourite piece of equipment. I put it down to an encounter with a rather mean young lady (we”ll call her “mini-mean”) at a playground last week. When CJ got to the top of the slide steps, she was met with “mini-mean” shouting, “you’re not allowed on here!” and then trying to nudge CJ down the slide when she was taking her time, shouting, “I’m waiting!”
However, we had no such problems today. CJ shouted, “LITTLE GIRL COMING ON THE PLAYGROUND” at an approaching mum and daughter and ran to open the gate for them. She then proceded to shout “COME ON THE SLIDE, LITTLE GIRL!” and took great delight in going down the slide with her new found pal (who I have to say responded to CJ’s loud offers of friendship with a mixture of bewilderment and trepidation.) Perhaps what she needed to regain her confidence was a fairly quiet playground with a fairly quiet playmate her own age and size. I’m sure we’ll experience more playground politics and countless other “mini-means” in the future – I hope I manage to strike the balance between helping CJ to assert herself and wading in to fight her battles for her. I hope also, that CJ’s rather unique and excitable style of socialising doesn’t scare any smaller children! At least with all our visits, I’ll have plenty of chance to try and get it right.
There’s a circular path around the park, which took us less than 5 minutes to get round on “bigbike” and maybe 15 minutes if you were walking with a toddler. It takes you past a small sensory garden and butterfly garden and then around the tennis courts and bowling green. We tested out the toilet facilities -very new and clean, we were impressed.
I wouldn’t make a special trip to this park again, only because it’s not that kind of place. It’s a fantastic local park for the surrounding community and has some regular organised activites listed on the webpages which you can access at the top of the page. What I would do without hesitation though, is call in here if we were on the way back from somewhere that involved going through Middleton, to give CJ a little playbreak and toilet stop. If we lived locally, we would definitely be regulars.