Birthplace Of British Skateboarding
Whenever I’m in London with a camera I always try and make time to checkout the skateboarders at the Southbank Centre, which overlooks the Thames in central London. Located in the undercroft, what once was a dismal, concrete, brutalist wasteland, devoid of any redeeming features, has over the years been turned into a colourful, vibrant activity centre, ringing with noise and excitement.
The Southbank undercroft is the birthplace of British skateboarding and has been home to skateboarders, BMX riders and graffiti artists for the last 40 years (making it the oldest recognised and still existing skateboarding space in the world).
Under Threat Of Development
Now it is under threat of development. Plans are afoot to replace the skatepark with retail units – yet more shops – to fund, the developers say, the refurbishment of the centre’s Festival Hall.
How You Can Help
If, like me, you feel this would be another nail in the coffin for London’s street culture, and you would like to lend your support to the campaigners’ bid to save the park, you can find out more here:
Long Live Southbank campaigners are launching a legal bid to save this culturally and historically important artistic space, and to have the space registered and protected under legislation – Commons Act 2006 – originally enacted to protect and preserve village greens.
I wish them well in their struggle.