Press release from Amey

Northfield youngsters who faced being left without a place to play are smiling again after potholes in their playground were repaired by Amey employees – including one who had kicked a ball around on the very same surface almost 45 years previously.

The playground at Meadows Primary School had developed a number of potholes which meant the surface was not especially conducive to ball games, while puddles formed after rain took a long time to drain. Meadows governor, Ken Wood and the school’s business manager Cheryl Goode decided something needed to be done to repair the surface before it became too much of a problem – and asked Amey, who work in partnership with Birmingham City Council to maintain the roads in the city, if they could assist.

When account director Richard Fryer heard of the plea for help, he realised it was the same school that had come to his rescue and looked after him for several weeks in 1967 when he went to stay with his older sister nearby as both his parents were in hospital. He was delighted to finally be able to repay the favour and help today’s generation of pupils.

He said: “I have fond memories of my time at Meadows, and so I was only too happy for our staff to see what they could do for the school. I hope the pupils will enjoy the playground now and leave the school with plenty of happy memories too.”

A team of employees from Amey, led by construction manager Mick Flanagan, spent two days at the school patching up the playground, at no charge to the school, using an infrared repair method which recycled the asphalt already in place on the ground by heating it to create a smooth surface.

The team also removed some large imitation pencils which were dividing the ball games area in two and making it difficult for full sized games to take place. Cheryl said: “The state of the playground before meant that it was difficult to do all of the activities we wanted to – not to mention the big puddles we would get after rain. But thanks to Amey, we now have a lovely smooth surface which is much better for playing ball games. We’re really grateful to them for their hard work – it’s made a big difference.”

Councillor Ken Wood added: “We had no idea of Richard’s link to the school when we asked if Amey could help out – but it was a lovely coincidence and made it seem even more appropriate to join forces to repair the surface. We were delighted that they were so willing to assist us.”

(Left – right ) - Cheryl Goode, business manager at Meadows School, Mick Flanagan, construction manager at Amey, Joanne Shore, Amey depot manager, Meadows governor Ken Wood, Richard Fryer, Amey account director, and nine-year-old Rebecca Goode watch on as Caleb Philpott, ten, tries out the new playground surface.

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