By Drawing Boards Adam and Peter
South Norwood is the unlikely recipient of a small yet flowing concrete skatepark, but it could have been so different. Although this is a Spot Check here’s a little background for you.
We had heard there was a skatepark being built in the area and immediately feared the worse as the only park built in the area previously is a shoddy metal skatepark with gravel floor. We arranged a meeting with the local councillor Duncan to see if we could be involved. He showed us the plans for the skatepark and as predicted it was your typical council metal monstrosity featuring that wack quaterpipe to driveway to quaterpipe combination. We were gutted! To make matters worse it was being made by a company who build childrens playgrounds!
We told him politely that the council were wasting there money if they were to build this park. He advised us that the council were bound to their contractors and in order to go outside the current contractors we had to prove they would be unable to do an adequate job. So we completed a case study of why the other park (aka Wandle) hadn’t worked and also 2 case studies on parks we felt had worked, Mile End and Meanwhile 2. We threw in the names of reputable skatepark builders in the country and he went back to the council.
Once the new companies had sent in their designs we took along a couple of well known skaters from the area to look over the tenders to get a more rounded view. The council were happy it was in budget and set about work straight away with Wheelscape, managing to complete the park 3 weeks ahead of schedule.
There is already a frequent flow of skaters, including many Fairfield heads along with a new breed of local kids. Also the we have been invited to be involved in the remaking of the other park as well as being consulted in future skate related projects. Result! We have been trying to get things done for at least 2 years and it’s nice to actually see a result with loads positive feedback.
We realise we have banged on a bit but the point is this: If you hear money is being spent on a skatepark in your area then get involved. There’s no point in moaning after another rubbish park is built. Compared to the council you are the experts so make yourselves heard.
Find this park in South Norwood Recreation Ground - Map Here.
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