After seeing the Fixation on Plastics thread this morning it had me remembering where I had the conversation with him about the old Sidewalk forum, and it got me thinking. It was at that flatground spot by the nice, non grockel friendly, derelict pier in Brighton. That place was amazing. Smooth tarmac, little cafe right there, sea a stones throw away to jump in when you got too hot from skating endless lines and, ( back when I still smoked pot), you could smoke weed and skate with no one hassling you. That was until that Sunsphere, (hopefully soon to be Wigsphere - Simpson’s ref, if karma and covid have anything to do with it), got the go ahead somehow and the spot was gone. That place was always a good time whenever I was in Brighton.
Similarly, Shell Centre/Jubilee Gardens/Xerox was amazing and was never the same after the bars went up and they built that stupid Ferris wheel.
Slades Farm skatepark in Bournemouth was another. My favourite park ever until the resurfacing killed any grindable lip. The addition of the path around the outside was cool, but the funbox add ons sucked. I loved that place in it’s heyday.
If I could have three spots rolled into one and only be allowed to skate those from now until eternity it would be those three, (sea included of course). There are a few others from overseas but if it’s just UK spots, it’s those no question.
Does anyone else have a favourite spot that holds fond memories, that you wish you could still skate, that is lost and gone forever for whatever reason?
2 Dublin modernist classics here, both built about a year apart in the early 70s
First up Trinity College library. They installed a pyramind with a large globe structure in the centre and added some perfect galvanised rails down the steps in the late 80s. Most of the time, you’d have to move some bike racks from the bottom of the banks to skate up or down them and then, you’d at most get 30 mins at the spot.
Bank of Ireland, Baggot St
The legendary Dublin granite-clad skate spot was a huge hit from the late 80s until hundreds of skatestoppers where put in place in June 2003. Now it’s known as Miesian Plaza after Mies Van Der Rohe, who also designed Berlin’s Neuenationalgalerie plaza which itself is very similar to Baggot St – Van Der Rohe was a big influence on the architects Scott Tallon Walker, who modelled this on NY`s Seagram Building… /pub quiz
This spot was perfect, only it wasn’t available to skate all day - usually only after 8 or 9pm, and then only if you were able to avoid security. They improved their outdoor lighting in 1999 which was rad, but too often at weekends you’d be playing cat and mouse with security & over-zealous police, which got tedious fast. A few too many idiots treated it like their sitting room and one moron ended up clocking the aging security with his board and the place was skatestopped soon after…
bird poo banks at Southbank. still cannot believe anyone ollied those stairs. picture was posted here recently but couldn’t find it
it was a good spot because it was usually quite quiet compared to the undercroft itself
Ealing depo. back in the day you could skate here for hours without getting kicked. it was an undercover skate plaza back before that was a thing. nowdays it’s a health hazard and instant kick out
in Pimlico, on the Millbank by Vauxhall bridge there was a Henry Moore sculpture sat in the middle of these awesome concrete hexagons. think a giant version of the giant’s causeway in Ireland. it was really fun to skate because the possibilities were endless. never saw another skate there.
Shell centre for sure. learnt so many new tricks there and met some good peoples
I’m not familiar with Trinity College Library - it looks like it would have been fun. Baggot St however was pretty famous. For some reason anytime I hear Baggot St gap or Wayne Gallagher I immediately think of the other, they’re always linked together in my head. I thought the place looked amazing from the footage/ coverage I saw.
On a side note, I love me a bit of Mies Van der Rohe. I’m a big fan of the Bauhaus/ Mid Century Modern/ International Style school of art, design and architecture.
I lived in Isleworth for a bit in the early 90’s and never once heard about, let alone skated Ealing depot. Shame really as I was just down the road and would have had to pass it every time I headed into town.
As I said somewhere else today I have a bit of a fuzzy memory these days, but I have vague recollections of that Henry Moore spot.
Wayne had some bangers down the gap alright, he had a Sidewalk cover photo doing a Cabellerial over it in 2002. Al Collin’s ollie up, no push to nollie heelflip in 2000 down the gap was the best trick for me - https://vimeo.com/thebaggotgap - if you have nothing else better to do than watch some Dublin scene videos.
The river was cool until summer hit and because I had always lived by the sea, more often than not literally on the beach, I felt a bit short changed. I don’t drink but The Wharf was a regular for Sunday lunch at the time. Once I realised I couldn’t see a horizon I decided to make inroads in to escaping ASAP. Fun whilst it lasted though.
One of my first skates happened there with a cousin of mine and his board.
Pretty much how I ended up getting my own board.
In Mansfield there used to be an old Co-op store that was more dismantled than demolished.
They left the smooth supermarket floor there and it was not fenced off once they’d cleared up.
Huge area of smooth flat with bits and bobs around to make kickers as well as some drops off the edges of it as it was slightly elevated.
Got a bit pebbly over time which could be a hazard…screech…ouch.