Fifty years of fun at Felix Road

Mayor Marvin Rees hangs on a playground zip wire, with children playing on/around a wooden playground behind him

I am delighted that Felix Road Adventure Playground in Lawrence Hill is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. As a child I used to play at Felix with my friends and I still love going there now.

Felix Road is a true Bristol gem, an amazingly inclusive and diverse community space where children can play, parents and grandparents can meet and chat, and where the community can sit down together and share food. Felix Road and the other adventure playgrounds in Bristol have been providing those services for generations of Bristolians for over 50 years.

A black and white photo, showing children playing on a wooden playground in 1972

Adventure playgrounds are such unique community spaces. They are a chance for inner city children to play in an adventurous way that is so important for a child in a city. Whether it’s swinging high on a big swing, digging and planting vegetables, or building and climbing a high tower adventure, playgrounds give children courage, resilience, and community wisdom that stays with them for the rest of their lives!

#FelixAt50 is going to be marked with a programme of events including a children’s tea party in June, an evening of films and talks in July, a food festival in August, and a children’s festival in September. These events will be complemented by a new mural outside the building celebrating the women who have watched over the playground and the children who play there for the past 50 years, and a new play structure designed by the children.

Two children stand, with their arms crossed, in front of a white wall covered with brightly coloured mural writing

Felix Road Adventure Playground has been open since 1972 and the local community have loved and protected this space for the past 50 years. In 2020, the playground became part of Eastside Community Trust, who also run Easton Community Centre and Up Our Street magazine, and are a key organisation providing spaces, connection and opportunities to participate in Easton and Lawrence Hill.

We are privileged as a city to have rich and vibrant assets in our neighbourhoods run by trusted community organisations supported by passionate people, like Stacy Yelland, Marg Hickman, and Mandy Watson, and Manu Maunganidze. Eastside Community Trust is one such organisation that Bristol is lucky to have.

I encourage you to find out more and get involved. Congratulations and Happy Birthday Felix Road – here’s to the next fifty years!