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Call to stop risking lives in free-climbing craze across Brighton and Hove
Daredevil youths have been urged to stop risking their lives – after taking their free-climbing craze to a well-known landmark.
Two thrill-seekers were spotted performing handstands on top of Queen’s Park entrance arch in West Drive, Brighton, on Friday.
They posed on top of the listed building in what is believed to be another example of the free-running craze known as parkour.
Chris Lowe, of Friends of Queen’s Park, described the activity as “highly dangerous”.
He said: “Obviously we would strongly advise anyone against climbing the arch.
“Unfortunately people see it as a challenge and it is difficult to stop them.
“We just don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”
Mr Lowe added: “But also the arch is historic and deserves respect.
“It was damaged not so long ago through wear and tear. People forget it is nearly 200 years old.”
Originating in France, parkour is described as a “holistic training discipline” which developed out of military obstacle course training.
Practitioners aim to move quickly and efficiently through their surroundings using only their bodies to propel them and negotiate obstacles.
In July The Argus reported that youths had climbed the 17-storey Hereford Court tower block in Hereford Street, Kemp Town, as well as the 15-floor St James’s House in High Street, Brighton.
Earlier this month we told how a fellow parkour enthusiast was shot with an air gun as he climbed a building in Horsham.
The Queen’s Park arch, which they scaled on Friday evening, is a listed building dating back to 1825.
The arch is one of two connected to the park with the other at the foot of Park Street.
Built around 1830, they were the entranceways for Thomas Attree’s original design for an exclusive estate of villas.
Mr Lowe added: “It’s a long drop from the top of the arch and a hard landing. We just don’t want people on it.”
Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, chairman of the Queen’s Park local action team, said he was unaware of the problem.
He added: “Let’s hope their faces are visible from the pictures. It’s extremely dangerous and something we will be looking at and discussing.”
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