/ Demolition of Watford Climbing Wall
A local instructor has proposed to lease the existing wall himself. However, the centre seems determined to ignore us & rip down the wall.
Thanks - Daywood.
My name is Elizabeth Holley and I am the Regional Development Officer for the BMC. Please do get in contact with me directly to see how I am support the wall.
Questionnaire here (for venting displeasure): http://www.everyoneactive.com/tabid/1881/Default.aspx
Although I don't go nearly as often as I used to or would like, the Watford wall was where I learnt to climb. It's got the best designed natural features I've come across, which actually enhance the climbing, unlike at some other walls where they feel a bit gimmicky. It would be sad to have it replaced with a soulless climbing frame
Just had a look at the quesionnaire again.
There was a question 5 which provided a comment box. I don't remember the exact question, but it might have been something like "Please state any objections to the proposed plan"
Strikes me as a little suspicious that this question in particular is now missing?
My email is email@example.com
Also, as Liz Holley mentioned above, drop me an email and let me know if we can do anything to help.
Macclesfield had a climbing wall at the Leisure Center...much worked on over 20 years and loved by locals..(but reviled by the masses)...THEY shut it and made "Urban Area"..abandoned in droves!..It made a wee profit before...cost a few bob and made nowt after..Everyone loses.
> I am speechless!
I don't get what's so un-fun about a normal wall
People on here go on about how walls aren't real climbing anyway so surly this is the obvious natural progression.
Maybe its not right to replace an existing wall with this, I don't know the area or the wall so can't comment directly but over all yep we need proper walls for decent winter training but at the end of the day I think this kind of facility has its place.
Rockbox looks like great fun!
That said, it's to sort of thing people go to once or twice, maybe for a kid's party but they don't keep going back week in week out. I can't really see why you'd pull out an existing climbing wall to replace it with this unless there were underlying problems with the climbing wall as a structure or as a business.
I was disappointed when scrolling through it. I thought it was going to be total wipe out style with boxing gloves shooting out of the wall.
The current climbing wall is already incredibly accessible & can be enjoyed by people of all abilities. The induction takes place very quickly & a large number of people have been inspired to take up climbing as a life hobby. That's what the role of climbing wall should really be - to inspire. The Rock Box will not inspire; it will bore. There's loads of young people in Watford who wouldn't have anywhere to go if the plans go ahead & might have to give it up permanently.
It has long been railway tradition to refurbish and generally improve anything (a line, a signalbox, a station etc) just before you intend to close it.
I guess that can apply elsewhere :)
I watched the video on the Rock Box site. One of the comments was 'looks like it would be good fun for stag/hen parties'. Well great, but where does that leave actual climbers?
> People on here go on about how walls aren't real climbing anyway so surly this is the obvious natural progression.
> Maybe its not right to replace an existing wall with this, I don't know the area or the wall so can't comment directly but over all yep we need proper walls for decent winter training but at the end of the day I think this kind of facility has its place.
Someone else posted a link above to Clip 'n' Climb which is basically the same thing. They have a Clip n Climb at the Quay in Exeter and its always got school groups and kids parties etc in there. It probably is a great way to get kids into climbing. However, it is in addition to the main climbing wall and not a replacement for.
There's a similar thing called Crazy Climb at the Beacon, and just recently installed at Big Rock (MK). In the latter case it replaced a couple of low top-roping sections that almost nobody used (and some more, better top roping was installed round the back of the lead wall to make up for the lost lines, so nothing really lost).
"choreographed group fitness" *vomit*
I can see it's place in complementing an existing wall. The Watford wall is tiny though, there's only room for one or the other.
That sounds like an underlying problem with the business to me. Is it council run, do they have a suggestions box, is the manager approachable? Maybe local climbers who value the place could start a monthly competition or offer time to set routes and inject a bit of life back into it.
Why should public money be used to enable private companies to profit?
Whilst I understand that councils have to make facilities profitable and attractive it appears that a few companies benefit from the money spent on building facilities.
This has happened with Go Ape using forestry commission land to operate a private business, ok so they build the facility, however they directly benefit from land maintained by public money. I am sure that many small independent business would love to have machinery, supplies etc. bought for them or to have cheap rent paid for by the general public.....discuss
> Macclesfield had a climbing wall at the Leisure Center...much worked on over 20 years and loved by locals..(but reviled by the masses)...THEY shut it and made "Urban Area"..abandoned in droves!..It made a wee profit before...cost a few bob and made nowt after..Everyone loses.
Chris, it might actually be really helpful if you could write a short email to the Watford council describing what happened in Macclesfield. We've just had the consultation evening, & the council's now examining evidence & awaiting a report from the leisure centre before making a decision. The email address is Gary.Oliver@Watford.gov.UK
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