Morgan messaged me “Don’t forget about the Peckham skate park meeting, it’s on Sunday the 15th February at 1:00pm, were going to choose a ramp!”
I was and still have the heart of a skater and recall a summer in the mid 80’s learning to skate at the Southbank centre, I’d bought a board and found excitement, friendship and adventure in skating.
Back then skate parks were few and far between and involved long journeys and the attitude of the public was divided as we were often challenged. People would shout - “Why don’t you go and skate in the park!” or “Haven’t you got somewhere else to skate”.
The answer back then was simply – “No.”
Over the years the attitude towards skaters has matured and evolved with the influences and recognition of sports such as Snowboarding and Bmxing and organisations such as the Southbank have dedicated a zone where skaters, BMX'ers and artists craft and perform their art.
When Morgan set about on his campaign to raise awareness and funds to develop Peckham’s skate park many people were excited about the project.Two years hard work, discussions with the Council, local residents and Peckham’s increasing number of young skaters have recently been rewarded and awarded funding to buy and build a new ramp, Hoorah!
On Sunday the 15th of February. Morgan and the Peckham skate group met and discussed some of the environmental issues relating to the ramp build materials and construction, present and future ownership, potential of reusing materials and to consider best value for money with design flexibility.
See how the ramp vote turned out……
It’s not unusual for Peckham to get a bit of a bad deal in the press, so it’s nice once in a while to hear something positive from the area. This positive story comes to you courtesy of Morgan Paton and his campaign to make something spectacular of the Peckham Rye skate park.
Most London skate parks are like the Stockwell bowl, surrounded by concrete. This is why, ill-equipped though it currently is, Peckham Rye skate park is still so popular. “I’ve seen some kids come all the way from Croydon,” says Morgan. “They come all that way because they say the atmosphere in Croydon is a bit… sketchy.” He mentions troublemakers. “Here there’s a bit more of a nice atmosphere, with the trees, and a little river – it’s more of a green area.”
As well as trying to secure public funding, Morgan’s group plans to approach companies for private funding. They have their eyes peeled for local companies who would like to bask in the prestige and great publicity that would come from not only keeping a bunch of local kids off the streets, but also providing them with exercise, entertainment and an outlet for their natural talents – maybe even contributing to a future Olympic gold medal for England.