Community activism isn’t new and campaigning against misuse of cars ain’t new either. Sunday afternoon I had a chat with a woman who did her share of community campaigning back in the nineteen sixties. Here’s the short version – the infant/junior school, at the time, had no pavement alongside the gates “it was just bare soil,” and some parents parked cars right up to those gates so their little darlings didn’t have to walk, but to the danger of other children. Our old campaigner got together with a couple of other mothers and handed out letters about parking away from the gates. Some of the other parents didn’t like that of course.
“I started to campaign for a crossing patrol. I went to the police two or three times but they weren’t interested. Wrote to the local paper. I got the MP to go down and have a look. Eventually, it must have been the council, we got the pavement, we got the no-parking space, and a crossing patrol.”
It’s not much but it’s not trivial. We went down to see the school this afternoon and there’s a sign on the gates that’s a kind of testimony: it says “Why should a child get hurt because you don’t care.”
That’s my old mum, that is.