The bank holiday weekend of May 2013 will always be remembered as Save Southbank’s due to the phenomenal effort involved to keep the flame alive. This came from locals who worked tirelessly to organise the event, the many skaters that have spent hours sessioning the banks there over the last 40 years and passers-by showing their support for our scene at the Undercroft throughout this three day session.
If for some unique reason you have missed what is going on, catch up with the relocation plans that skateboarders have been proposed here and then catch up on a Q&A session with the answers here. In a nut shell, skateboarders feel short changed by the the fact that the skatepark will be knocked down to make way for more retail units due to a huge investment into rebuilding the area in 2014. It is clear that the Southbank Centre look to cash in on what is definitely a prime location which means relocating skateboarders to a new spot under the Hungerford Bridge.
This event to highlight this news was graced by the sun’s rays beaming across the Thames whilst the stereo pumped out tunes to a game of S.K.A.T.E. All heads were held high and most importantly, everyone was there for each other from all sides of the scene. Chewy Cannon was one of many who dedicated a lot of time into the organisation of the weekend. His arms are probably no longer functioning after 72 hours of holding that huge megaphone, but he also found time to douse the new blocks that Chris Oliver and friends had spent time building with his switch skills whilst hitting every wall in sight. These blocks were sessioned hard all weekend by many as you will see in the gallery shots below, and are now added to the many other creatively built objects that have changed the landscape down there allowing new tricks to enter the history books.
This feature is short and for those who live too far away to be present in such an important movement for British skateboarding. If you managed to make time in your busy schedule to put a face in the door this weekend, then our hats are off to you. If you didn’t, take in what you missed and thank the people involved for getting to the heart of the matter and doing something positive, rather than watching it all from Facebook or writing negative blog posts on why people should give up the fight and just take it on the chin.
This is phase one. Do your bit and let everyone know that skateboarders would like their home to stay exactly where it is. We do not need another burger or coffee joint at the Southbank, we don’t need another concrete skatepark built in a new location either, we would just like to take SB back to its roots, clean it up and protect its incredible history. Hopefully, someone, somewhere will one day realise that this shared space means so much to so many people and that the magic created here will never be replicated anywhere else.
Have your say by completing this short survey that conveniently doesn’t mention skateboarders. Over 27,000 signatures had been logged by Saturday afternoon, share/like this feature and ask friends to get involved.
Big thanks to all involved in running this event all weekend, Dan Joyce who filmed these clips below, Session Noisses on the beats, and Gorm (B&W) and Maksim Kalanep for the use of their photos here alongside some of our own.
Visit www.longlivesouthbank.com for all info.
Enjoy some skating and an overview from Saturday’s event:
Henry Edwards-Wood discusses how this all came together in this short interview shot on Saturday: