Above and below: Waterside Adventure Playground team
Overall winners Hackney Gypsy Travellers Unit
Published: 29 June, 2012
by ANDREW JOHNSON
THE lost art of go karting was revived on Highbury Fields for the first time in 30 years on Saturday when teams of youngsters from across London competed in a traditional soap box derby.
Kids from Islington, Haringey and Hackney left their PlayStations, iPods, scooters and other 21st-century gizmos at home to be inducted into the craft of building go-karts out of spare bits of wood and pram wheels.
Seven teams from the boroughs’ adventure playgrounds and community groups – as well as an ad-hoc group made up on the spot from enthralled passers-by – each had four hours to build a go kart before racing them against each other.
Every team managed to put a serviceable a vehicle together, racing – and crashing – them before Hackney’s London Gypsy Traveller Unit team pulled ahead to take the podium spot.
The event was organised by the London Play charity, based in Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park, whose patrons include former culture secretary Lord Chris Smith, who used to hold Emily Thornberry’s Islington South constituency for Labour. The charity campaigns for better out-door play facilities for children.
The teams: Laburnum Boat Club, Hackney; Waterside Adventure Playground, Islington; London Gypsy Traveller Unit Hackney; London Gypsy Traveller Unit Haringey; Kensington and Chelsea Adventure Playgrounds; Haward Kids Adventure Playgroung, Islington; and local passers-by.