Thursday, November 22, 2007

Where Are They Now? Pt 1 - Park keepers

"I don't care who you are - get off the grass!!...."

In an ongoing series documenting the disappeared - things that were everyday sights or common occurrences that seem to vanished for no obvious reason.

I'm going to start with Park Keepers.
They may still be around, and I'm just looking for the wrong thing - expecting to see a sour, dour middle aged military type (possibly with a moustache) purple faced and frowning around the grounds. But no, there's obviously Groundsmen (green polo shirts, badged and branded with the local council's snappy logo) shuddering around the boundaries on fun size tractors, who seem to be either straight from a Gillette ad' or dreadlocked friends of 'Swampy' - but no obvious leader of the pack.

There were two 'Parkies' at our local park Geoff (Mr Nice)who looked like Oscar Goldman and would let you sit in the office on cold days, and Bill (Mr Nasty) who would get on the 999 line every time the witches hat was liberated from it's pole, if someone had been spotted on the shed roof, cricket green or had 'French Bangers'

Do these sort of jobs still exist? - It makes perfect sense that there should still be a requirement for Park Keepers but I'm convinced I haven't spotted one in years. I heard recently about a local government scam called 'tarmacing' where at the end of the financial year roads are tarmaced to use up any spare left in the budgets, allowing for the same budget to be given for the following year. I hope 'Parkies' haven't been victims of 'tarmacing' and cutbacks.

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