HOW WE BUILT OUR SKATEPARK, and WHO HELPED
A petition from skateboarders was passed to our local policemen, Dave Leipnik, who had been spending quite a bit of his time stopping skateboarding in all the usual antisocial places: carparks, schoolyards, streets and pavements. The youngsters presented this petition to Borough Green Parish Council, who liased with our neighbours in Wrotham and Platt, and with the Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council who owned a field between the villages, that was already earmarked as recreation land. A lease on the land was arranged, planning permission and funding applied for.
Above : part of the skating problem
Local companies were approached for help, and were all extremely helpful and generous. One local company was prepared to build the assemblies, with young people helping with humping materials, painting and cutting. So as well as getting their skatepark, youngsters also learned a lot of engineering and construction, and how to work as a team with adult tradesmen.
The design of the park started as loads of wishlist diagrams on scraps of paper, and after several meetings we came up with the MK1 design. Using lumps of 4x2 timber and sheets of card, we made up all the jumps to scale, and “finger skated” them to work out a good layout. This design was transferred to paper using Microsoft Word, no fancy design software. We eventually built the MK10 version.
A large proportion of the ramps were built before a local construction company laid the slab and drainage, so that when the concrete had cured, a frantic week of work meant we had a working skatepark to open. A local fencing company put a gate and bridge in, and fenced off our part of the field, and the park was opened in September 2005 by the Mayor, with a fairground and a stage for local bands to play. As you can see from the photos, a skatepark like this would normally cost £120K to £140K. We built ours, including fencing and legal costs for £40K.That is an awful lot of public money saved.
Easy, wasn’t it………………
BELOW: Our Thankyou board for the Businesses and Councils that helped build the Skatepark