The sadness behind the Kidston Park Spider’s smile

Environment Opinion Parks

After decades of neglect, a concerned Kidston Park patron has called for help from the Helensburgh Adviser to raise awareness of the bleak fate facing the iconic spider.

Situated by the crumbling bandstand, the metal climbing frame with a smiling face was once the main attraction of a park that sported just a couple of swing sets in addition. However, since the installation of the new play area, the spider has been figuratively cast aside.

Park user and local resident, Ellen Morrison told us “In the last few years the entire play area has been replaced and then expanded upon, but the poor spider hasn’t seen a fresh a coat of paint in years.”

When this reporter visited the park to gather details, she concurred with the sorry state of affairs that Ellen had described. The spider looks eastward from its lonely vantage point towards the new play equipment, casting a wistful eye upon the children swarming around the pirate ship and other modern apparatus. That smiling face likely masks the untold heartache from being fenced off, as if to reinforce the notion that the spider has been left out in the cold.

A young child plays upon the Kidston Park Spider
A young child plays upon the Kidston Park Spider on an overcast summer day.

When we met Ellen for coffee at the park cafe, she remarked that “For some reason, everyone fawns over that red horse with a face for nightmares up in Hermitage Park. I think that’s being restored for the umpteenth time at the moment, but our Kidston Park spider is so neglected that even the vandals don’t bother with it.”

She believed that only a public awareness campaign might be all that stands between the neglected spider and an unthinkable fate. We left Kidston park with a guilty glance back towards our smiling friend and this reporter pledged that the ‘Adviser would do everything we could to save our spider.