Swainby Playing Field
In 1992, Mick Hannon was approached by a number of parents asking if there was any chance of securing a play space children could use out of school hours. At the time Mick was Chair of the Friends of the then Whorlton School where his five children attended and, probably most significantly, was responsible for Middlesbrough Parks with considerable experience of securing and developing open space. With the support of local solicitor Rodney Plaice, a site was identified on land at the rear of the Black Horse pub which had, in the past, hosted a village football team on one of the two fields. This was owned by the brewery and, initially, the plan was to secure all of the land. The vision was to relocate the cricket field (then the field opposite Rusty Bike cafe), develop the rest of the field for various forms of play/recreation with the total site being complimented by redevelopment of the old Church Hall (formerly a school) to include changing facilities, outdoor soft play for pre-school children etc - a village social and recreational hub.
Unfortunately, this grand plan was thwarted when the cricket club didn’t come on board. In 1993 a peppercorn lease was secured from the brewery for the current field and a Playing Field Association was established which gained charitable status in 1995. In1999, following the site’s acquisition by Hambleton District Council, the land was leased to the Parish Council. Two phases of development have taken place based on a design prepared after an exhaustive public consultation exercise. This has been led by a sub-committee who have been very successful in obtaining a variety of grants most notably from The Big Lottery.
The playing field committee is a formally constituted sub-committee of the Parish Council and operates under the same statutes and regulations and Code of Conduct.