Guerrillas in the Mist – Isle of Man Adventures in Swing

I read a great post yesterday from Chris Gregory’s blog, Play Isle of Man. Chris and I have corresponded back and forth about the world of play and discovered that we both have a soft spot for swings. Chris is much more of a connoisseur than I and has a lot of swing tales to tell.

Chris Gregory champions play on the Isle of Man for the Island’s leading children’s charity The Children’s Centre. Campaigning to transform the Isle of Man into the greatest place on earth for children to grow up, Chris lives and breathes play. Rumours he once ate an apple and regurgitated a small forest containing a fully working Ewok village remain unconfirmed.

Colby Glen in the Clearing, Isle of Man

With his Will you be part of the Guerrilla Swinga Movement? post, he’s setting the foundation for a bit of mythology making all in the name of fun and play. Chris kindly agreed to repost his piece here at PlayGroundology. Pass on the fun, hit a share button and let the movement catch on.

On with his post.

Will you be part of the Guerrilla Swinga Movement?

If you’ve ever made or used a rope swing you are now and without realising it part of a movement… Welcome to Guerrilla Swing Movement!

A childhood wouldn’t be complete without using or creating a rope swing. More popular than the mundane manufactured swings you’ll find in your local park and often not for the faint of heart, these are the swings often made from old rope, lashed around the thickest available branch and often hanging over a river or significant drop. These are swings made by children for children!

Ramsey Pool Dewey, Isle of Man

Rarely around for long, the swings are far too often cut down by an overly dutiful health and safety bods or by Play Deprived adults who thinks it “looks messy”. But there are others out there with totally different ideas…

I have recently received a number of emails from a group calling themselves the “Guerrilla Swingas”. Tired of health and safety restricting their children’s fun they have a seemingly endless supply of rope and dress in monkey costumes and they a have a mission to erect as many rope swings around the Isle of Man in as many child accessible places as possible.

In an email to me they have asked for support from likeminded parents, adults, children and young people who are tired of the restrictions put upon them and become honorary Guerilla Swingas.

Pulrose near the golf course, Isle of Man

And we here at Play Isle of Man say, Sounds like fun? I’m sure there are all sorts of health and safety legislation out there that will bombard you with reasons why not to, but the Guerrilla Swingas seem to be shouting a counter argument that is turning up the volume, “it’s fun and as long as you use a strong piece of rope, a thick secure tree branch that’s not dead, and a strong stick to sit on the only danger you’re in, is missing out on the fun.”

All we would say to would be swingas is to be respectful and only use branches for sitting on that you have found loose on the floor.

We’ll continue to post more of their swings and their locations as we get them, but if you’ve seen or created a swing send us a photo and we’ll stick up.

Bananas to you all

Glen Vine Park Lane, Isle of Man

Send your photos to Chris via the ‘contact’ link on his blog

Follow Chris’ adventures in the Guerrilla Swinga Movement and other play related pursuits on Twitter @chrisplayiom.

If you’re entranced by swings, you may enjoy this post – In Montreal, The Swings Are Alive With The Sound of Music.

2 responses to “Guerrillas in the Mist – Isle of Man Adventures in Swing

  1. How fun! Reminds me of the Red Swing Project done by a college student in Texas. Read more about it in The Play & Playground Encyclopedia at http://www.pgpedia.com/r/red-swing-project.

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