Play park idea to honour the Chuckle Brothers backed by Rotherham Advertiser

Play park idea to honour the Chuckle Brothers backed by Rotherham Advertiser

By Gareth Dennison | 13/01/2022

Play park idea to honour the Chuckle Brothers backed by Rotherham Advertiser


ROTHERHAM Council has made no effort to honour the Chuckle Brothers in the three years since rejecting the Advertiser’s campaign for a Chuckle Square.

The authority turned down our idea for a town centre tribute in February 2019 — proposing instead to name a street, play park or public space in Maltby after the comedy duo.

But RMBC has done nothing towards realising this pledge, which was criticised anyway because the brothers have much stronger links to East Herringthorpe than Maltby.

In an attempt to rectify matters, the Advertiser is supporting the new suggestion of independent member Cllr Michael Bennett-Sylvester.

The aim is for the Oldfield Road play area at East Hrringthorpe — five minutes’ walk from the Chuckles’ childhood home — to be revamped and named in their honour.

Cllr Bennett-Sylvester said: “Talking to local residents who are active in the community, there is a strong desire to have the estate’s most famous former residents recognised for their achievements.

“Considering the joy they have given to countless children, and the example that working class youngsters from East Herringthorpe can achieve in life by applying their talents and working hard, renaming the Oldfield Road play area in their honour would seem ap- propriate.” Chuckle Brother Paul Elliott, who was born in Masbrough but lived at

East Herringthorpe from age five months to being 21, welcomed the idea.

He said: “When I was about five or six, there were about 13 houses on Lockwood Close, where we lived, and about 15 lads all of the same age.”

“It was a new estate at the time. We didn’t have a playground but we all used to play football together. There were fields for miles around. It’s changed a bit now.

“I was a better footballer than Barry. I played for all the school teams and was on trial for Rotherham Boys but I got injured.

“One of my school mates, Phil Cliff, played for Sheffield United. We had some good players. I was about 13 when I had to retire from football and joined Barry on stage.”

He added: “I like the idea of a Chuckle Park, just to have something named after us. They have done it at Gulliver’s Valley with all the pictures of us, which is really nice, but they did that after the council refused to name the square after us.”

Asked about progress on the Maltby idea, a council spokeswoman told the Advertiser: “A tribute to the Chuckle Brothers was unveiled in the borough.

Chuckle Street, located in Gulliver’s Valley, was unveiled by Paul Elliott in August 2021.”

A spokesperson for Gulliver’s confirmed that Chuckle Street was the idea of the theme park’s chief executive Julie Dalton.

Advertiser editor Andrew Mosley said: “I find it incredible that the council would view this as sufficient tribute to the Chuckle Brothers, especially when they had nothing to do with the naming of Chuckle Street at Gulliver’s Valley, a private business op- erating independently of the local authority.

“All the council has done is ignore the wishes of the people of Rotherham to pay tribute to the Chuckle Brothers, who put this town on the map.

Then, to rub salt into the wounds, they have tried to take the credit for someone else’s work.

“It’s not too late for them to relent and agree to the Chuckle Square suggestion, which would provide a creative space, which would also help increase footfall in the town centre.

“In the meantime, we are happy to back Cllr Bennett-Sylvester’s idea for the play area tribute near to the brothers’ childhood home.”

Cllr Bennett-Sylvester called RMBC’s rejection of the Chuckle Square campaign “bizarre”.

He added: “Unfortunately, there does seem to be a pattern in this town for not hon- ouring residents who achieve great things but are not counted as true believers, whether it’s David Seaman after his family opposed the closure of Kimberworth school in the early noughties or the Chuckles after Barry Elliott’s association with the idea of a free school and former local Conservative Party candidate Charlotte Blencowe.”


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