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LLSB’s Summer of Fundraising Update

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Well what a summer that has been. Since we launched our fundraiser back in June, we have hardly stopped moving for a second. Whether it’s been pop up shops, photography events or the countless behind the scenes ongoing of a major fundraising campaign, you could hardly accuse us of not being on the ball! Now September has come, we’ve just about got 30 seconds to breathe and give you a rundown with some highlights from the summer.

LLSB x Adidas
Hardly a week after our fundraiser went live we launched our collaboration with Adidas. This went down stormingly. The opening night of photographs and music was absolutely packed out and your collective love for the collaborative shoes still has us stuffing parcels from dawn until dusk. A few weeks later we dropped the LLSB x Adidas Jackets which are still available along with just a handful of shoes over at www.llsb.com/shop.

Photo: Sam Ashley

Festivals and Pop Up Shops
Lovebox, Citadel, NASS and Boomtown; we’ve lugged the faithful LLSB table from muddy field to muddy field, speaking to thousands of you lovely folk in the process, raising money and making invaluable connections. Keep your eyes out for our Boomtown LLSB minute coming soon!

Away from the mud, we’d like to thank the Youth Club Archive, Box Park Shoreditch and Facebook’s London HQ, all of whom invited us in for pop up shops over the last 2 months. It’s all been great for the fundraising effort and we’ve managed to put on some really good events too, from film screenings to public debates on landscapes, public space and skateboarding. All of this is of course in addition to the table down at Southbank itself, where we’ve had a regular presence throughout summer, and spoken to a huge number of our keenest supporters.

Photo: Nick Constant

We’re going to keep moving around over the coming months – so keep an eye trained on our social media for all the latest news.

Sharing our story
We are lucky enough to get the chance to speak to a wide range of individuals and organisations who support our work and want to learn from our truly unique story. In July we were invited up to Bristol to give a presentation to academics about ‘Engaging Youth in Cultural Heritage’ which was met with lots of positive feedback and encouragement for our current fundraising effort. Thanks for the invite! We love talking to new people so if you think we might want to come talk at an event, drop us a line at hello@llsb.com.

Photo: Chris Chronin

Behind the Scenes
Then, as you’d imagine, there is a whole myriad of things going on behind the scenes. There are the grants and trusts that we are applying for. We are making the case as strongly as possible that this is a project of huge benefit for both the heritage and the future of the community – for the cultural integrity of London as a whole. We are speaking to donors, from the biggest to the smallest, keeping the campaign moving and showing as much gratitude we can to every supporter. Then there is the technical aspects of the build to keep on top of. The conversations with architects and engineers are as important as ever in the heat of the fundraising campaign. Our technical designs for the build are almost done, just in time for a real fundraising push in Autumn.

And of course there are the future events we are teeing up. Keep your eyes peeled for art shows, collaborations, photography projects and plenty plenty more. We are making fine progress – and with some sustained dedication, our dream is definitely within sight!

Huge thanks to all who show us support! Please keep this up, keep sharing the link to www.llsbdonate.com and your eyes peeled too. There is more news just around the corner.

Fundraiser Jam on Saturday 23rd September

Make sure you get yourself down to the Undercroft this Saturday for a fun-filled day at SB. We have a skate school for those who want to try their hand at stepping on a board and our friends at UK Slalom Skateboard Association will be setting up some cones to make the Undercroft feel like it did back in the 70s! We also have some new obstacles to skate for the best trick and demo with DJs keeping the party all day long. Come down and show your support to unlock the Undercroft.

Huge thanks for everyone’s support throughout the summer! We’ll carry on keeping you updated.

Long Live!

LLSB: Southbank Undercroft ~ Proposal for Restoration of Original Design and Vision

To download your copy, please click the link below:

SOUTHBANK UNDERCROFT ~ Proposal for Restoration of Original Design and Vision

Last September, when we signed the agreement with the Southbank Centre protecting our skate spot in the long term, we were quite rightly pretty chuffed with ourselves and our patch of Waterloo paving stones that are beloved to so many. But the space that we had gained long term protection for was just one third of the size of the space discovered, and marvelled at by the skaters of 1973.

Eric Dressen - FS Grind on Wall

When first discovered, no doubt with wide eyes and incredulous smiles, the Undercroft stretched all the way back to Belvedere Road and featured all manner of features ripe for skating: the bank to wall, the little banks, the road gap. But over the course of time elements of the Undercroft were constricted, no doubt as part of the plan to remove skaters from the site – even though it was only the skaters and homeless using it. The scene, whilst remaining strong, lost skaters heartbroken by the restriction of access to their favourite parts. In 2005, when a huge chunk of the Southbank Undercroft was boarded off, the Southbank Centre promised that the hoardings were temporary, and the space would be returned after the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall. The illusion of a mere temporary closure took the wind out of any potential ‘Save Southbank’ campaign. The hoardings went up and are yet to come down. The Southbank Centre are yet to fulfil their promise. We would like to help them.

Today we release our Original Space Proposal. This 50 page report is not the climax of our campaign, it is a synopsis introduction. A more comprehensive document will be released in August. However it presents the case for the complete restoration of the Undercroft. Of course there is the moral argument. Promises have been made. Promises should be kept. But there are many more convincing arguments.

We are not asking for some integral part of the Southbank Centre to be returned to us. The areas of the Undercroft claimed by the Southbank Centre are currently used as a poorly frequented pop up bar, seasonally used exhibition space with similarly few humans, and storage space. On the other side of the temporary hoardings is a space which does capture the public’s imagination. The skate spot is highly frequented by skaters of all backgrounds. Here is a community of people captivated by activities such as skateboarding and un-commissioned street art and graffiti. We skate the painted walls. Hordes of people stand to watch us. Surely it makes sense to take down the hoardings and relieve the bar of its sombre empty existence.

Andrew Brophy by Dom Marley

Andrew Brophy by Dom Marley

Whilst the Southbank Centre has its role, it must accept its limitations. It straddles two inner city boroughs, yet singularly fails to engage with a wide range of people who one could label disadvantaged. For many youngers who have been getting in trouble, or recent immigrants, or people who aren’t white or people who can’t afford a drink in a Southbank Centre bar: these people find the skate spot to be their home. It is exceptionally rare for a space to bring such a broad range of people together as friends. Of my closest friends at the skate spot, at least 6 came to Britain knowing almost nobody, and found the Undercroft to be the place which welcomed them. And they could not have been welcomed by a better place. The free, easy going creativity of the community, the inspiring architecture and the presence of hugely talented professional skateboarders, photographers and filmmakers open up countless doors. It is no coincidence that so many highly successful creatives are locals, or former locals at Southbank.

There is also an intergenerational conversation at the Undercroft which seldom occurs within formal arts institutions. With ‘authority’ and formality often comes condescension and ageism. The longevity of the skate spot (it is the longest continually skated in the world) means that the community spans generations. However, unlike in many formal arts institutions, the diversity, and following lack of cliques makes it quite natural for a 16 year old to become good mates with a 36 year old. Many organisations, including the Southbank Centre (whether they choose to admit it or not), try to artificially replicate what happens perfectly naturally at Southbank, bandying about buzzwords such as ‘mentoring’ and phrases like ‘a guiding hand’. But artificially constructed relationships are not the same.

At Southbank, over 40 years a creative community has developed organically, amongst brutalist architecture perfect for skateboarding and besides a river perfect for allowing a community to grow. Since the late 80s, the community has been slowly constricted. An ever decreasing space, with ever less features to skate would never hold a community as large as it did in the late 70s, when hundreds of skaters frequented the Undercroft on weekends.

We know that the Undercroft can fulfil a communal function that no institution can replicate. Here, young people, marginalised people are engaged day after day by hugely creative, healthy activities. We would like to work with the Southbank Centre, take down the temporary hoardings, repair any damage that has been done to the original design and let Southbank flourish. Just imagine the potential.

Nothing is impossible, as over 150,000 of us showed. Together we can let the Undercroft breathe again – we can bring it back to life.

Anyone interested in helping out can drop us a line at info@llsb.com

 

You Can’t Move History ~ But You Can Build A Future!

Beyond The Lens: Interview with Jenna Selby

A Hemel Hempstead native, Jenna Selby started skating in 1998, around the same time that her interest in photography was developing. She spent many years shooting photos of female skaters for Cooler Magazine, alongside running Rogue Skateboards, now in their 10th year, and organising the annual Girl Skate Jam at Pioneer Skatepark since 2002! We caught up with Jenna as her film ‘Days Like These’, which will feature a selection of the industry’s top female riders from around the UK and Ireland, is being edited together ahead of the 5th December 2015 screening. 

Lucy Adams_Cooler Magazine_Interview

Lucy Adams – Ollies a cone at Southbank. LA interview for Cooler Magazine

 

Always good to start at the beginning so tell us about the time you first wanted a board and how it came to be that you got hold of your first deck…

I met a girl called Dee Sansom through London clubs I used to go to in the late 90’s. We became good friends; she’d been riding for 10 years previous and persuaded me that I needed to buy a board. I found a Zorlak ‘H20’ deck for sale in an American zine and as I really liked the band and the price (it was only $20) I thought what a bargain. That was until I got hit with the import duty of £20. I got the rest of the set up, including wheels that resembled bearing coverings from Clarkes Skates in St Albans and had my first roll down the hill from the cathedral. I was hooked from there on in and went on to spend many evenings riding outside C&A in Watford. As Dee was from Slough I would meet her down at Southbank at the weekends.

Jenna_Selby_Seattle

Jenna Selby – Back Noseslide at Wheels of Fortune Comp in Seattle May 2015

And when did photography come into the equation… when did you first start picking up a camera and did you think that was the path you would follow professionally?

It was just one of those things that happened by chance. I was originally planning to study Geography at uni and had just started my second year of A-Levels. One day a friend asked if I wanted to come along with him to his photography evening class. I was given someone else’s negatives to work with – a shot of a cornfield – but from the moment I saw my first print appearing on the paper I knew that I wanted to become a photographer. I went into college the next day and signed up to A-level photography, crammed two years of work into one, it then went on to become my degree.

Your future literally appeared before your eyes! And now that it has become your vocation, how do you strike a balance between skateboarding photography, filming and paying bills?

My work is split between working as a photographer for companies and local councils and as a Photoshop Trainer. As I am a freelancer I can organise my time to work around photographing/filming skateboarding as well.

Sorted. What are your preferred camera equipment and lenses you work with, especially when you’re out shooting skateboarding?

I use the Canon 5D Mark 2; it’s a sturdy workhorse for both filming and photography. I’ve always loved Canon cameras, the way they feel and operate – I never got along with Nikons. It’s a bit like the PC/Mac thing – although they both do the same job one just works better with my brain. The two lenses I use on a regular basis are the 50mm f1.4 and the 15mm f2.8 fisheye. I also have a 300m lens as well as a couple of zoom lenses. I’m not sure I can say I have a particular favourite lens but I do tend to stick with the primes when shooting skating. I think it is more important for me as to which lens will give me the result I am envisaging with the skater and the environment that they are in, a bit like how you see something in the street as a skater and imagine what you could do on it – it’s the same for photography – if that makes sense? I used to shoot a lot of my skate images on film using the Canon T-90, my favourite lens then being the 85mm fd f1.2 lens (mainly because it was so beautiful to look through!) but in recent years with the turn around of images having to be a lot quicker for what we are doing and also the price of film/scanning going up – the balance has tipped more in favour of digital.

 

Yeah, that all makes perfect sense! Good tips. Along with the photography you also set up Rogue. When did you first start thinking about setting up a board company and  and what were your hopes for it?

Towards the end of my degree in 2002 I was taken on as a rider for the newly formed UK Gallaz team (sister company to Globe) along with Lucy Adams, Julie Bevis, Ro Brannon, the Hesketh Twins and Laura Crane. The initial idea for promoting female riders around the world by Gallaz was brilliant and their main team of riders comprised of names like Vanessa Torres, Amy Caron and Jaime Reyes. They put out the first ever all female skate film: AKA Girl Skater and suddenly women were being invited to skate at all of the major comps.

Unfortunately though it seemed the only coverage we were given in the UK centred on health and fitness. Any interview we did, the answers would be twisted so much that in one interview for ES Magazine I was quoted as saying doing 10 ollies means that I can burn x amount of calories per session. I did wonder why they even bothered to ask us questions!

I became more and more frustrated with the way that female skaters were being portrayed and by the fact that the skate mags at the time were giving only very limited coverage if any. I started chatting to the other girls who I’d met around the comp circuit and I started to think perhaps if we could put our own team together, a: we would have more control over the coverage we received and b: if as a team we went to spots and parks on a regular basis, skate mags might be more likely to take notice of what was going on and give these girls and women proper coverage. It was also hoped that the team could act as a platform for female riders to become recognised for their talents and act as a stepping-stone to help them move onto other things.

In 2005 Rogue came about, the original team included Lucy Adams, Maria Falbo, Laura Crane, myself and Sadie Hollins.

 

Original Rogue Team up at the drainage overflow in Telford in 2005, just after getting together

Original Rogue Team up at the drainage overflow in Telford in 2005, just after getting together

And its been great to see how Rogue has continued to be around while things have evolved with regard to women and girls in skateboarding. It’s changing again now with more and more females being recognised for more than just health and fitness!  There are some sick riders continuing to push the benchmark and challenge perceptions. How does being a female skater in the UK compare to how it did a decade ago?

I guess it has changed a lot in that time, mainly due to social media. 10 years ago there was a core group of faces on the female skate scene, there weren’t a huge amount of new riders coming through at the time. Then over the last few years, women started using Instagram and Facebook more to their advantage – setting up groups, letting people know what was going on in their local areas, hooking them up with other female riders etc and suddenly there seems to have been an explosion in numbers – especially with a load of groms coming through.

I have heard from some American friends that with the talks going on to include skating in the Olympics, the organisers of Street League will start having to include female riders in what they are doing as the committee have to present the ‘sport’ on an equal footing. Although I am in two minds as to whether it is a good thing, at the very least if it does present skating as something anyone can do (female or male) to the younger generation, that isn’t a bad thing.

The more it is out there the more it becomes the norm and social media has definitely helped push it out to a wider audience but yeah, preferably legit core means rather than the Olympics. Talking about coverage, you recently released a trailer for ‘Days Like These’. To what extent is it a Rogue Skateboards film, or a scene video highlighting female skating in the UK?

The last film we made started out as a Rogue film but ended up being a bit of a free for all – so I thought, that one worked so we should run this one along the same lines. DLT will be a UK and Irish female skate film, plus friends – the free for all has extended slightly further to Austria this time, with Julia Brueckler on board. It will include sections from all of the current Rogue riders as well as from seasoned favourites like Lucy Adams, Camilla Mullins, Stef Nurding and the new younger rippers Josie Millard and Ireland’s finest, a definite one to watch for the future Sabine Haller.

Josie Millard Kickflip in Brighton

Josie Millard – Kickflip on Brighton Uni steps while filming for ‘Days Like These’

How much have you travelled and where did you head out to for the video, and what was the gnarliest situation you ran into while filming and travelling around?

I’ve recently been over to Seattle to film with Julia who killed every spot she went to! We’ve also been out to Budapest, down to Brighton, over to Wales, the Midlands and a fair bit in London. Over the summer there are trips planned to film with the northern ladies, up to Scotland and also over to Ireland.

For this video I have to admit it’s been pretty tame so far. I think the worst we’ve had really was the day out filming with Camilla Mullins and just getting kicked off every spot we went to within 2 minutes of arriving by very polite security guards – it makes it very difficult to refuse when they are being so nice and apologising for having to chuck us off!

Julia Brueckler Back Noseslide in Seattle

Julia Brueckler – Back Noseslide in Seattle while filming for ‘Days Like These’

 

Once you have all the content of films and photos to get out to the world, to what extent do you think that skateboarding media, videos and photos in magazines are important in furthering female skating?

It’s the same as it is for the guys – the more coverage there is can only be a good thing. The more coverage riders get the more the readership or audience can relate and take interest. You also create role models for the younger generation to take interest in – you only need look at the video parts out there: Elissa Steamer in Welcome to Hell, Alexis Sablone/Wonderful Horrible Life and Marissa Dal Santo’s section in Strange World to see how these have helped change views already.

When Cooler was taken out of circulation last year, it was a big loss. Although some of the lifestyle articles were sometimes a little questionable (I appreciate they had a market to hit though) it was the first magazine to have regular interviews and articles on female skaters from the UK and around the world. Double paged photographs of riders doing tricks and not just carrying their boards and interviews centred actually around their skating. The magazine did a lot to raise awareness of the profiles of riders out there and there has been a big hole left since it went.

Hopefully something will come along to fill the void and get things pushing onwards and upwards. What about female skaters in countries outside the US and UK.. how are they kicking it right now?

There are so many individual skaters like Julia Brueckler (Austria), Candi Jacobs (Netherlands), Evelien Bouilliart and (Belgium) who have all competed at the X-Games at one time or another and have been killing it for some years. There are strong scenes in Australia, other countries in Europe, Japan and South America especially Argentina with Girls Assault. Brazil seems to be churning out the main stage talent at the moment with the likes of Leticia Buffoni, Pamela Rosa and Gabi Mazetto who all placed in the top 10 at this years X-Games.

Yeah there’s some interesting things happening in the Brazil and Japan scenes. Elissa Steamer recently got inducted into the Skateboarding Hall Of Fame and joins the likes of Wendy Bearer Bull, Peggy Oki, Laura Thornhill Caswell, Patti McGee and Ellen O’Neal. Do you hope for a day where its just ‘skateboarder’ and not ‘female skateboarder’ or do you think being gender specific has value, benefits and importance?

Ideally it would be like how they approach it with Skateistan – skaters are just skaters. And I believe that most of the time this is true in skateboarding at a grass roots level. Unfortunately though with things like the lack of coverage, lack of female riders represented on teams you do come to realise that the only way we can change this is by making it gender specific. It’s not a right or wrong thing but just the way it is at the moment.

Coverage creates change. Back in 2009 you released ‘As If, And What?’. What advice would you give to someone embarking on making a full-length video?

Have a plan and system in mind. I made the first film with no real idea of what I was doing (I should say absolutely no idea) and after a year of filming, I spent 3 months trawling through tapes and tapes of footage. This time around I am downloading and cataloguing the footage within a day of filming. Also decide who the main riders are going to be – try and work with riders who understand what it involves to make a video (time and patience!) and give yourself a timeframe to work to. It is also useful to think early on about where you would like to show it when it is finished, if it is a well used space make sure you get in early to book it.

Jenna and the orginal Gallaz Crew sitting opposite the old hip at Southbank

Jenna and the orginal Gallaz Crew sitting opposite the old hip at Southbank

Rad advice for the budding next gen of filmmers! Let’s travel even further back in time… You’ve been taking photos at Southbank since the 90s. What are your memories from that time and how has the space changed since then?

I guess it felt more of a place for us rather than being a show for the public. It was a lot quieter around the river front back then compared to how it is now. You could use all of the space under the Festival Hall and we used to stay there well into the evening messing about on the different banks and chatting to other friends who we only saw at weekends when everyone could travel. No one was interested in skaters back then so we really were left to our own devices – looking back I do realise it really was a good time to experience the space.

Yeah it was a different experience. Each generation has their Southbank stories. What’s your favourite photo that you’ve taken at SB?

Probably the one of Caroline Dynibil sitting on the block – it was just one of those moments you capture when nothing has been set up, she was relaxed and the summer evening light was at its best and it just showed the enjoyment of just being out with your board for me.

Caroline Dynbil at Southbank

Caroline Dynbil – article on female skaters of Southbank for Cooler Magazine

And what about your favourite Southbank photo by someone else and why?

There was one shot by Richie Hopson, I can’t remember who the skater was but it was taken at night, back in the early 00’s. I remember it being one of those photos that made me think ‘I want to take images like that’. He was kind enough to give me some tips back when I was first starting out and that picture has always stuck in my mind.

Passing on and sharing the knowledge, a Southbank tradition! Finally, when can we expect to see the full edit of Days Like These come out? We’re hyped about it!

It’s earmarked for showing at the House of Vans on the 5th December with an accompanying photo exhibition.

Sick. We’ll be in attendance for sure! Thanks for taking the time to speak to us Jenna and hopefully soon we’ll just be talking about skateboarding instead of having to differentiate between genders. Skateboarding has the capacity to bring unity and equality!

 

All images by Jenna Selby. Check out these links for more Selby associated radness.

 

‘Days Like These’ will be screened at House of Vans, London, on the 5th December 2015
Amy Ram Front Rock at Hemel Hempstead

Amy Ram – Rock and Rolling the deep end at XC, Hemel Hempstead

Iain Borden was recently interviewed in FakieHillBomb, where he made several comments regarding Southbank skate spot and we the community, so we thought we’d clear a few things up.

DSC_2250

Objection to destruction delivery day 2014 – Image by Sophia Bennett

 

Firstly, we want to clarify that Professor Iain Borden was never part of the Long Live Southbank campaign and is not a current user of Southbank Undercroft and therefore anything he says about either subject is from an unqualified position and at best, sketchy. Sure he did a film interview with us, and one of the many meetings we organised was at his office back in early June 2013, but by the end of that same month he was already in dialogue with the Southbank Centre about a ‘design brief’ for the intended ‘replacement'(“relocation”) site for ‘urban‘ activities at Hungerford Bridge. However we at LLSB were 100% fully focused on building a campaign that would save Southbank skate spot from short-sighted, commercially-driven, careerist decision making.

 

Secondly, Iain does not engage in discussion with the community of the current Undercroft, and while he is still pushing a covert negative portrayal of the space, we as a community are just getting on with things and enjoying our home with the positivity it – and we – deserve after 5 decades of defending it. Especially with the amazing positive vibe since we signed the agreement to protect the space for future generations and the new faces and crews who come down and jam at Southbank.

 

So let‘s unpack what‘s going on in this interview…

 

The interview featured comments on the proposed Hungerford Bridge space as well as presumptions and assumptions about Southbank skate spot and the Community and how we think. But hey, everyone‘s entitled to an opinion. It just needs a little careful watching when it‘s a perceived ‘expert’ opinion.

 

Let‘s remember that Iain was commissioned by the SBC to produce an “urban” performing arts area (cunningly labelled a ‘skateable space’ to sell it to the public) and during his employment in developing the Hungerford Bridge site he revealed just how out of touch he really was, and still is.

 

Let’s also remember that the Southbank Undercroft community is an independent community first established in the 1970s – a full decade before Southbank Centre Ltd took over management from the Greater London Council and the public space became a private estate. Our significance and independence is recognised by Lambeth Council in the listing of us as an Asset of Community Value and their statement that “the skateboarding park could be considered, in the officer’s opinion, as a separate entity, as it is not wholly dependent on the Southbank Centre.”

 

 

The ‘alternative’ site

 

Prof Borden says; “I worked with the Southbank Centre to look at the alternative site underneath Hungerford Bridge, but we always wanted that to be a viable alternative if the Undercroft did indeed get closed down“.

 

Ermmm yeh, about that…

 

You take an ‘alternative’ route if the road you normally go down is closed and you need to find another way to your destination. The route isn’t important, the destination is. But you do not hang up an ‘alternative’ painting because the Mona Lisa has been destroyed. We put it across many a time that there was no ‘alternative’ or ‘replacement’ for Southbank – it was in fact the shutting down and destroying of something uniquely organic and firmly established, and the starting of something completely new which is controlled and contrived, and ultimately the 2 are unconnected. Arrogantly self-proclaiming the proposed Hungerford Bridge theoretical design ‘world class’ in a press release before even a brick had been laid fooled no one.

 

 

bird-shit        mellow-banks

Illustrations of Bird Shit Banks before Southbank Centre destroyed them to rid the area of skaters before ironically designating the area for ‘skating’ in order to create ‘prime retail space’.  Illustrations by James Jarvis and Andy Smoke   

 

So it wasn’t and never will be a “viable alternative space”; it was a new space, a risky experiment that ignored all the warning signs. One that could be hired out, would feature events with commercial retail and be programmed with all kinds of activities unrelated to the 40 year old Southbank Undercroft culture and traditions. This was a camouflaged slow erosion of skateboarding at Southbank under the guise of it’s “bigger and better” – neither of which was true. The Southbank Centre planning application for Hungerford Bridge stated it was to;

 

“create a space for skateboarding, BMX riding, Parkour, street writing and other arts and cultural events.“ and “the design for the Hungerford Bridge site should allow for the possibility of hosting events-based programming, such as skateboard competitions and dance performances.”

 

Great, then go ahead and do that. Just don’t go pretending it’s the “new undercroft”. Yep they went so far as to promote it as the ‘Hungerford Bridge Undercroft’. A lil’ education lesson for them;

 

Undercroft (noun): the crypt of a church. (Architecture) an underground chamber, such as a church crypt, often with a vaulted ceiling

 

Hungerford Bridge was/is a… well you already guessed eh – a bridge no less.

 

If things would had have gone the Borden/Southbank Centre way skateboarding would have been fully co-opted and absorbed into the constraints of institutional governance and bland formulaic visions that stifle creativity. Again no one was fooled – no matter how many times Artistic Director Jude Kelly said “our skateboarders”. We never were hers and never will be. We are a creative community of human beings – not a commodity or collateral for careerism or anything else – and we cannot be owned and we cannot be bought – as we clearly showed.

 

In press releases Southbank Centre and Iain Borden stated that the skateboard community was divided about the Undercroft and the Hungerford Bridge. This was pure propaganda and completely false as we clearly showed through our campaign where the international, UK and London skate scene were completely behind the united call for the preservation of the Undercroft. SBC and Iain Borden were so confused during this period that they didn’t even know if they had 1, 2 or 3 ‘professional skateboarders’ on their tiny ‘design panel‘. Turns out there probably wasn’t even 1 as they incorrectly called one person a pro skater who actually wasn’t, and the others wished to remain ‘anonymous’. None of us were buying it.

 

Of course he is entitled to his view, as are the 150,000 of us that supported Southbank preservation and the 40,000 individual planning objections. But to try to force an idea on people who have clearly stated issues, concerns and objections with the design, the layout, the governance is, in its most basic form, wholly undemocratic. Besides, no one would want to skate a design that contained anti-skating features. Hungerford Bridge was a very confused knee-jerk reaction to the popularity of preservation of the Undercroft. The public designs of Hungerford Bridge were only theoretical and not truly representative of the actual size and design possibilities. A fundamental flaw was the noise factor of the high volume of trains. Anyone who knows anything about skateboarding would know how important being able to hear other skateboarders around you is.

 

As for “if the Undercroft did indeed get closed down”; we told Iain that was not an option for us. At its very core, skateboarding is about committing and Iain seems to have bailed before even the first try of the trick.

 

He continues that “skateboarding is generally being welcomed and appreciated as an urban phenomenon, and is not being sidelined, sidetracked or marginalised”. Well, while Iain has been sleeping, the crew of LLSB have been working really hard to stop the destruction of skateparks, skatespots and the introduction of public spaces protection orders (PSPO’s) all across the UK and indeed the globe. Iain may be hanging up his skate shoes but we in the skate scene have a long way to go before skateboarding is not considered a crime.

 

And where was Prof Borden’s voice in response to the continued ‘white-male-middle class’ rhetoric that came out of the mouths of his SBC colleagues in regard to the Undercroft? Or maybe out-of-touch Iain agreed with them and would rather bypass the reality and evidence of the social, gender, heritage and generational equality at Southbank. Maybe they all at SBC think mainstream society has sorted itself out and is fully equal for women and people other than white. Just look at the diverse SBC board of governors… oh wait. Our bad, they are all socially comfortable white people (and some tick-box boughie schmoozer-to-the-arts-‘elite’ ex-radio 1Xtra DJ joker called Nihal). Okay let’s take a lead by example from SBC senior management then – oh wait… same old same old. Ne’er mind, let’s crack open a bottle of the finest hypocrisy and pour a glass while we wait for SBC to catch up with colourful pallet of the population rather the closed cupboard of arts chumocracy .

 

But he goes on….

 

 

The old ‘them and us’ tactic

 

Iain regrets that “it turned into such an opposition into the Undercroft vs Hungerford Bridge, where these two spots were being completely contrasted to each other.”

 

Opposition always came from the Southbank Centre, it was them that pitched the skateboarders against youth jazz musicians and others creative practitioners at SBC and also mislead the public of what the Hungerford Bridge really was and demonised and vilified the skateboard community at every opportunity as part of their campaign. They even crudely paraded young people they had misinformed at a public discussion chaired by local MP’s. It was cringe worthy to watch, and pretty disturbing and very concerning. But yet again, no one was fooled. The divide and conquer methodology is not the way you engage in engaging and communicating with people.

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Incredibly divisive and patronising ‘Battle for the Southbank: Skater kids v jazz warriors‘ loaded article by Jude Kelly’s mates over at the Evening Standard

 

 

He continues; “it would have been good to have a somewhat more open debate about this.”

 

In terms of “the open debate” the Southbank Centre stated categorically on practically every occasion that we were not allowed to discuss the preservation of the Undercroft. The subject was censored. You can hear it clearly in our The Bigger Picture campaign film. It was always a one sided conversation with a closed door in terms of talking about preserving the Undercroft. That did not begin with us.

 

 

The ‘zoo’

 

It was the Southbank Centre that put up the Barriers and it is the SBC who benefit from the huge volume of people who specifically come to watch skateboarding at Southbank. If the Original Space was never removed or restricted under the promise of its return, this would not have been an issue. The spectator effect is a direct result of Southbank Centre’s reduction of the original design and floor space.

 

“I think the Hungerford Bridge site would be even more open to the public, and also integrated with them – Søren’s designs were all about bringing the public into the skate site, making it seem more like a real public space that is good to skate, rather than the pseudo-skate plaza which the Undercroft can sometimes seem like, with a bounding fence and them-and-us separation of skaters and non-skaters.”

 

Ahhhh Iain, lest you forget ‘Southbank Centre’ is a private estate. It is us that are truly trying to reclaim the space for and by the people – not your Hungerford Bridge fiasco.

 

Even though the Undercroft is a barriered space, the public still have full access to it and no one ever restricts them to it. We saved it for everybody but we should all also respect traditions and indigenous culture. Does Iain really think that with a riverside walk that stretches for miles, the general public really needs another space to eat a sandwich in the name of ‘integration’?

 

 

Southbank and the future

 

Iain said he ‘sometimes worries’ about the history and atmosphere about Southbank. Well we can help there; no need to worry we’re chillin’ and having a great time and hyped about what the future of Southbank will be as we see the youngers and next generations shred SB with ever-increasing style and vigor.

 

The Undercroft is not a “skate plaza”, no matter what happens it is still a found space and a street spot. People from all over the world state how tough it is to skate it and that it prepares skateboarders for the streets.

 

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The Terraces before they were lost to yet more commercial unites that continue to engulf the Southbank Centre. Lucien Clarke ~ image by Henry Kingsford

 

In terms of other skateable spaces around Southbank anyone in the skateboard community knows there are skate spots all over the Southbank Centre site as can be seen in many photographs of people like Rory Milanes, Lucien Clarke, Ben Jobe, Neil Smith, Winston Whitter. If the SBC wants to be truly progressive why don’t they open up the site to be fully skateable and not to send security? With so much space on the Southbank for the public to eat, drink, stand, sit, walk, and such limited space for ungoverned creative expression, it’s unbalanced and ridiculous to say that new spaces should be “even more open to the public, and also integrated with them”.

 

By Ian Borden’s own analyses and analogy of “them and us” separation, should we then suggest that the Royal Festival Hall audience get up and out of their seats and sit amongst the Orchestra on the stage, in the name of Unity?

 

If we’re to focus our energy on the future of Southbank for the next generations then we the community will be investing that into something useful like the reclamation and restoration the entire Undercroft space as it was in the beginning… not forcing all “urban” art forms and practices into a tiny pigeon hole formally known as Bird Shit Banks – and never destined to be ‘Hungerford Undercroft’.

 

To read the original interview with Iain Borden click here;

An Interview with Professor Iain Borden on Southbank and Skatepark Design from the 1970s to the Present

Beyond The Lens: Interview with Sam Ashley, Photo Editor at Free Skateboard Magazine

 

LLSB caught up with renowned London-based skate photographer, Sam Ashley, who found time to talk to us ahead of launching the new pan-European skateboard magazine, Free Skate Mag. Sam has been a staple in the UK skate scene for over a decade with his photos gracing a great deal of magazine covers. He also was an integral part of the Long Live Southbank campaign.


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Thanks for taking time out to chat to us Sam, we know you’re always super busy! Let’s crack straight into it and start at where it all began… how did you first get into shooting skate photos and what camera did you first start working with?

 

Getting into skate photography just came from reading skate mags in the late eighties. If I wasn’t skateboarding I was obsessively reading these things. I figured it would be cool to shoot my friends and try and make it look like the stuff we saw in magazines. My first camera was a really crappy plastic point and shoot, it really wasn’t capable of achieving the results I wanted, which at the time would’ve been something that looked like it was from R.A.D. or Transworld. I probably wasted quite a bit of film through this thing before finally giving up. I didn’t really shoot much again until the mid-nineties, by which point I’d managed to persuade my school to let me use a darkroom, that kind of changed everything, as it allowed me to understand how the physics of photography worked. Soon after that I bought a Nikon FE2, and ended up using that camera for about 15 years after.

 

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Nate Jones by Sam Ashley (2004)

 

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it eh. Some readers might not know about your photography outside of skating. Do you think you would have been a photographer were it not for skating, or do you think that skating as a creative outlet opened your mind to this sort of career?

 

That’s kind of hard to answer, as I never really expected to make a career out of it. I actually trained as a newspaper photographer, and after my training had a couple of offers to join local papers, but by that point the skate stuff was kind of paying me a bit, I thought I may as well run with it and see what happened, I could always join a newspaper later… It’s now been 16 years. To be honest, the newspaper industry has been struggling pretty badly since about 2001, I think I kind of dodged a bullet really.

 

The newspaper industry’s loss is skateboarding’s gain. What was it like the first time you saw a photo of yours in print?

 

It’s the best feeling, one that I doubt most photographers ever really replicate ever again. After all the covers, photos in US mags, 20 page features etc etc, that first B&W half page photo in Sidewalk remains the one that I was most excited to see.

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Chris Jones backside lip by Sam Ashley (2012)

 

You’ve done a fair amount of documenting Southbank over the years, cheers for letting us use so many of your images throughout the campaign! What are the major challenges of shooting in a space full of light and dark spots?

 

I think the secret is not to try and fight it, use the contrast to your advantage, it can be very dramatic. Personally, I think the main challenge is actually the history of the spot, all the great skaters and photographers that have produced stuff there; how is this photo going to stack up? How are you going to light it differently? How are you going to find that new way of seeing it

 

it showed everyone that standing up for something like this is worthwhile

Well you’ve come out with some gems over the years mate. Both skate shots and documenting the space in general. Does shooting photos at SB feel different after putting in so much effort to conserve the space?

 

Not really, I’m always just amazed that it’s still there, but I often thought that before the campaign.

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LLSB Objection Delivery Day by Sam Ashley (2014)

 

We were blown away by how many people care about the place and what it represents and wanted to contribute their bit. The fact we all skated the UK’s largest number of planning objections the 3 mile journey from SB to Lambeth Town in Brixton was a real pivotal moment. Great to have had you there with us to document that. What do you think saving Southbank meant to the UK, and worldwide skate scene?

 

I think for the skate scene, it showed everyone that standing up for something like this is worthwhile, I think before this happened a lot of skaters would assume that these battles are pointless, as the money always wins.

 

On a wider cultural level, I think it highlighted that there’s been a general shift in attitudes towards skateboarders, people just understand it better these days.

 

Yeah we’re seeing that shift and a move to understanding and appreciating skateboarding and our ethos and values. What’s your favourite Southbank shot you’ve taken? 

 

I was stoked how Vaughan Baker’s fakie flip came out.

 

It’s a sick shot, the perspective angle and the shadow of Vaughan on the concrete backdrop are so rad!  What about your favourite SB shot taken by another photographer?

 

There’s so many other good photos that have been shot there. I really like Curtis McCann on the bank to wall by TLB, The Gonz hippy jump by Skin and Ben Jobe’s back tail on the beam by Wig.

 

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Vaughan Baker fakie flip by Sam Ashley (2001)

 

print mags are actually more important than ever

 

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Rory Milanes back smith by Sam Ashley (2012)

 

 

That’s a rad selection of images right there! Feel an exhibition coming on haha. Given Sidewalk’s recent shift away from print, do you feel that there is a long term decline in print skate media, and if so, is this bad news for photographers, and our appreciation of skateboard photography?

 

I don’t really see it as a long term decline at all. Right now coming out of the UK we have Grey, North and obviously we just started Free. Obviously there could always be more magazines printing more often, but would it really be any better? There were definitely times when Document and Sidewalk were printing 12 copies a year, it’d get to the winter months and both mags are both covering the same comps at indoor skateparks, and I’d just look at it and think “What’s the point?”. I think there’s a great opportunity for the remaining mags to really raise the bar with regards to featuring the very best UK skateboarding in print, all killer no filler!

 

I think print mags are actually more important than ever, as skate photography on the internet is basically a sea of shit. How are you easily going to find the good stuff? Even when you do, it’s usually a square measuring 640 pixels wide; there’s a whole world of photos that look great printed as a double page spread but absolutely do not work as a tiny photo on Instagram.

 

The smartest photographers, and brands, realise that magazines still provide the easiest and best way to elevate what they’re producing above the aforementioned ‘sea of shit’ on the internet, as long as that’s the case I think magazines will be fine, as long as the quality of the editing is high.

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Nick Jensen by Sam Ashley (2004)

 

it took me a long time to figure out what I really needed

 

Over the last few years, there’s been more and more youngers and new heads shooting photos. Do you think there could ever be an over-saturation of skate photographers and people simply adding to the ‘sea of shit’?

 

It depends, I think if they were all really good, and they were all going after the same work, it could be a problem, I don’t think that’s really the case though. I’m generalising here, but I think most skate photographers don’t really get very good until they’ve been shooting for 4 or 5 years, Henri Cartier-Bresson famously said “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst” and that was in the film days, so there’s a good chance you’re not going to get much published for a while, maybe a lucky shot here or there. The upshot of this is that most kids just get frustrated and give it up after a couple of years, so their potential is never fully realised.

 

So do you have preferred camera and lenses to work with for your skate photography?

 

This is a bit a weird question for me, because I know that when people begin to shoot skateboarding it’s very easy to fixate on the gear instead of the photography… I honestly think you can make amazing, magazine worthy skate photos with any DSLR you can buy right now, even the £300 ones.

 

Having said that, I’m not trying to keep any secrets about this stuff either, so if people want to know: I use Nikon digital cameras, mostly just because I’ve always used Nikon stuff, and I’ll usually carry these lenses: 16mm, 35mm, 50mm and a 80-200. Lenses are a really personal choice though, it took me a long time to figure out what I really needed.

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Southbank Seven by Sam Ashley

 

we should get the little banks at SB back! 

 

Ahh yes, good call… the creativity is in the eye and the mind and the instrument and accessories are the enhancers of the vision and ambition. Looking at the new chapter and toward the future, you’re part of the crew who have set up Free Skate Magazine, how has it been getting that up and running?

 

It’s been great. Obviously it’s been a lot of work, and there’s certain aspects of it that have been a very steep learning curve, but I’m just really looking forward to getting the first issue out.

 

Even though skateboarding is enjoying real popularity, it still seems it’s hard for skate media to stay afloat, as we have seen with Sidewalk and Kingpin. So what can we expect and look forward to from Free Skate Magazine.. how much will the new magazine differ from Kingpin and other skate mags?

 

Well I think the main issue with regards to Sidewalk and Kingpin remaining in print wasn’t really about them ‘staying afloat’, but that the print aspect of their whole business wasn’t an area that was likely to grow very much. The publisher of those magazines had investors, and generally speaking most investors only really care about how much their investment is growing.

 

With Free, we’re coming to it with a different set of goals. Whilst it’s important that it works as a business, and that the photographers and staff get paid for their work, we have have no aspirations for any financial investment to ‘grow’. Artistic growth is much more important to us.

 

That’s rad. The last 2 years was about us talking about creativity over commerce. There is an alternate way! Are there any spots you’d be hyped to shoot a photo at?

 

Yeah, we should get the little banks at SB back!

 

Ha, now we’re talking… that would be a banging shot in skateboarding history! We showed that the seemingly impossible can be possible so never say never eh.

 

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Joey ‘Southbank Crack’ Pressey wallride by Sam Ashley (2004)

 

 

Cheers for chatting with us Sam… We’re hyped about the first edition of Free Skate Mag.

 

 

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Nick Jensen Backside Flip by Sam Ashley (2013)

 

For all things Sam Ashley and to purchase prints head here

And to keep up to speed with Free Skate Mag head here

 

Celebrate the first issue of Free Skate Mag – Saturday 4th July 2015 from 8pm at Bardens Boudior

36 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XJ, London, UK


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Grab a copy of the zine, have a drink, watch the premier of the Sour skateboard solutions video, and swerve to PWBC DJs.

 

 

Interview by Louis Woodhead and Paul Richards 

Beyond The Lens: Interview with George Toland, Filmmaker for Serious Adult

 

Dropping online yesterday, the Serious Adult Promo was filmed and edited by LLSB campaigner George Toland. With a healthy dose of Southbank locals mixed in amongst Jersey ripper Luka Pinto and young Oxford shredder Cam Barr’s sections, the video highlights the quality of underground skateboarding in the UK. We caught up with Toland to talk about Serious Adult, Southbank and his long nights spent scouting for sketchy brick banks on Google street view.

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Photo by Alex Lamb

 

 Cool George! Maybe you could start this off by telling us a little bit about Serious Adult. Who’s involved in the company and how did you get involved?

 

Serious Adult is a clothing company that I guess has developed into a crew. SB local and LLSB campaigner Greg Conroy started it around 4 months ago. He asked me if I was down to film and edit a short promo featuring a little team he’d got together. I was hyped on the team and the t-shirts and we started filming pretty much straight away. The guys involved are Jeremy Jones, Lukas Kacevicius, Jasper Woolf, Luka Pinto, Valentine Katz and Cam Barr.

 

Unless I’m wrong, this is your first time filming for a company. How does it differ to filming and editing for yourself? 

 

Yeah it is. I suppose the main thing is as I’m working for Greg there’s a lot of discussion necessary when it comes to editing etc, as it’s representing him too. We have fairly similar opinions on what we think is good though and what gets us hyped so it hasn’t really been that different really.

 

Yeh you can tell there is a really consistent style. In quite a short space of time you ran off on filming missions down to Bristol and Sheffield too. How were they? Did any good stories emerge?

 

Really sick man  . I’d never been to another big city in the U.K. outside of London before so it was sick to skate somewhere different with all the locals. In Bristol we were skating in massive groups of like 20/25 people which was rad, everyone was hyping each other up. Just before we got on the coach back to London, Greg got a banging line with a tre flip in the road, which was sick way to end the trip. Unfortunately my camera glitched so the line wasn’t usable haha, but yeah was still a rad moment. The Skateboard Cafe premiere was sick as well. Sheffield was fun too, I wish we could’ve stayed a day or two longer to explore the city centre a bit more but there’s always next time. Cheers to Beall and Bill for putting us up in Sheff and Briz!

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Lukas Kacevicius wallie. Photo by Gino Silva-Payne

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Photo by Graham Davies

 

Who’s skating on the team gets you most hyped?

 

I’m hyped on everyone’s skating on the team, but I’m stoked that Lukas is getting some recognition as he’s been killing it for ages. Everyone at the premiere was hyped on his section in the promo. It’s sick to just chill and watch him and Jasper skate SB cos they just smash it. But yeah I’m stoked on the team in general, everyone kills it.

 

 

Yeh Lukas’ part was so good, there must have been non stop cheers at the Parlour premiere. When not filming Serious Adult, you’re often chasing skaters with your VX down at Southbank. Tell us a bit about Lords of the Undercroft and Boom Bam Boom. How did you end up filming Tom Penny sprinkle some magic on the banks?

 

Haha yeah that was mental. I was just chilling with my camera out and he just came up to me and asked if I was down to get a clip on the bank. There’s only really one answer when Tom Penny asks you that! But yeah I was so hyped to get some footage with him. Regarding the SB edits, I just like making videos where everyone’s got a trick or two. There’s so many people killing it at SB everyday and I just wanted to make something that documented that. I thought it was important that everyone from older heads like Greg King down to the kids like PJ and everyone in between was represented and had a clip so as to give a true feel of Southbank.

 

Yeh that’s what I like so much about your edits, when everyone who’s stuck in the Southbank vortex is represented. Are there any skaters down at Southbank in particular who the skateboarding world should be keeping their eyes on?

 

Yeah it’s really rad, so many kids are smashing it. As I mentioned earlier you’ve got older guys like Lukas and Jasper killing it on the regular, as well as Domas, Jeremy, Josh Jennings etc. And then youngers like Cameron, Hassan and PJ progressing at a crazy rate. All hail Jizzleman!!

 

All hail! It is actually thanks to people like you that Southbank is even open for skateboarding, after you spent all those hours on the LLSB table, selling t-shirts and getting the membership forms signed. How was the campaign for you? 

 

It was a really rad thing to be involved with definitely. It was heart-warming to see how most of the public were fully backing and supporting us, which gave us more confidence to keep going. The feeling of relief and pride when we got the news it was saved was just amazing. The day it was announced we all came down to celebrate and chill, everyone was in such high spirits. That was one of the sickest days I can remember. But yeah it was a long battle, but all worth it in the end!

 

Photo by Sophia Bennett

Photo by Sophia Bennett

That was a really beautiful day. I just remember sitting by the river with everyone in the sun, and just smiling. Do you think SB has a different feel now the stresses of the campaign are over?

 

For sure. It’s definitely a lot more relaxed. During the campaign I think everyone was a bit on edge all the time, as at times it wasn’t looking all that good, however hard everyone was working. But yeah, now it’s saved it’s easier to just chill and skate and not have to worry about the looming threat of the loss of our home.

 

It is definitely more relaxed down there now the campaign finished and the table packed up. Ever since we were about 15, you were on google maps spending hours scouting out new spots. What is it that attracts you to the less obvious spots?

 

Haha yeah it’s definitely an obsession of mine. I guess I like the idea of finding and skating something that no one’s seen before. I’m always hyped on interesting looking spots in footage and street view is a pretty good way to find stuff.

 

Do you have any spot finding tips for the skateboarding youth?

 

I suppose the easiest way is to just skate from place to place rather than get the bus or tube or whatever. That way you can check every little back-alley or go a different route to your normal one. Or you can spend your evenings trawling through Google Maps haha.

 

Yeh, the edit certainly shows your commitment to the spot finding search. Respect! So to round this interview off, what’s next for you George? Are there any more edits in the pipeline?

 

Now the S.A. promo is done the plan is to make a few shorter edits next. Also I’m sitting on quite a bit of SB footage so I need to figure out what to do with that.

 

Shout outs to GCS and the vortex crew!

 

Thanks for speaking to us George!

Click here to watch the Serious Adult promo, and here for some Southbank radness courtesy of Toland.

Interview by Louis Woodhead

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RADBMX  London Rideout 2014 at Southbank. Image by John ‘Griff’ Griffin       
As RADBMX get set to push off on their ‘RADBMX 2015 London Summer Rideout’ this Saturday 6th June, we catch up with Griff, one of the organisers, to get a heads up.. 

                  
How’s it all looking for Saturday’s ride?   
           
The date was set last October, so people have been planning and looking forward to this for some time now! So far the weather forecast for Saturday is looking great too, so I expect we’ll get a decent turnout        
There have been a few London rides, how long has radbmx.co.uk been running?        
The radbmx.co.uk forum has been going since 2004, there are members’ rides and late-night skatepark lock-ins most weekends somewhere in the UK nowadays, but as far as London goes the first big one was in 2007 for Children in Need        
You get some pretty rad old school classic bikes taking part, must be sick to see them all in one place?              
It certainly is – some of them have taken years of patience and dedication to complete so it’s amazing to see them all getting ridden instead of just hanging on a wall!

   

1535701_440421139420208_23533262_n (1)RADBMX  London Rideout 2014 at Southbank. Image by John ‘Griff’ Griffin

 

Yeah, and people come from all over to join the ride, whereabouts are people from and whats the furthest place people have come from?

 

They’re spread out all over the place – apart from London and surrounding counties, we have a large crowd coming from the North this time (Manchester, Yorkshire and beyond) also the South coast. Awaiting confirmation of a visitor from Germany too!

   

The global family! The route always includes a little pilgrimage to Southbank which is banging, how important is that stop to you and the other riders?  

 

Southbank is one of my favourite stops on the route – to see a place like that preserved among all the surrounding gentrification is pretty special nowadays and people always stop and comment about the bikes. It has a lot of history and is a great spot to grab a few photos!

   

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Image by John ‘Griff’ Griffin                                                                            Image by John Lewis   
You guys were super supportive of LLSB and the campaign to preserve Southbank, thanks! What is your special moment or memory of SB?               
Still remember the first time I laid eyes on the place and how surprised I was that it even existed, it’s such a cool spot! Really glad that you succeeded in keeping it protected for years to come and if we helped in any way at all that’s fantastic   
It was all about the community coming together for good. You’re also raising money and awareness for St Mark’s hospital in London,  tell us about that…               
Pickle (one of the guys that helps run the forum) works for St Mark’s, who are working to eradicate Bowel Cancer, and so this time around we thought it would be nice to give them a bit of support for the great work they do   
Yeah that’s so rad. So what’s the details for the ride?               
Meeting up at Waterloo station at 11:30am and leaving at 12pm if anyone wants to join us!
If anyone wants to know more info they can get in touch with me or Stuart Timms who is the other guy organising this particular ride. There’s an event page on Facebook;
Or if people want to put a few quid in the charity pot there’s more info here;
Nice one, see you guys Saturday!   
Here’s the route…
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Long Live South Bank: The Book

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This book is a celebration of the history and culture of the Undercroft area of the South Bank and the community that has evolved there over the years.

Click here to buy the book from our shop

One of the PR and media messages under the command of Southbank Centre Director of Marketing and Communications, Edward Venning, was that it was ‘musicians versus skaters’ or ‘skaters against everyone else’… ‘them and us’. Hmm. let’s look at that…

This low – and desperate – measure couldn’t be further from the truth. Southbank Centre performers and practitioners of all disciplines, and creatives of all kinds, have been with us in support and solidarity from the very beginning of the campaign. Even after many were being brain washed from SBC senior management and the propaganda and lies it relentlessly churned at every opportunity. Most saw through it. Especially those that took time to come chat to us.

Sure, we didn’t have Billy Bragg in the bag, but then he is a personal friend of Artistic Director Jude Kelly, so he would loose all his SBC perks if she couldn’t call him to write a misinformed article or two. Who needs him anyway? Old school, and not in a good way.

It’s no secret that the aforementioned Marketing Man Eddy V disliked skaters with a passion, and the contempt and distain which he emitted at us, at meetings where we would be present, was both comical and disturbing. Why hate so much? Chill mate. Be Happy.

Anyway, here are just a few of the people we were supposed to be ‘versus’ showing their support in whatever way they could. We truly appreciate the huge amount of effort people have put in to get the message of preservation of Southbank and our space, our HOME, our culture and our community, across to the masses. We have never needed a PR company, a marketing director or to mislead the public. The truth will reveal itself eventually. But for now…

Young London-based professional cello ensemble, Diversion, said; “Congratulations for the hard work, we love this place in London and we have to preserve it! We already signed the petition and hope it will pay, Long live southbank!”

Check their video here:

The Fremen with ‘Democide’ in support of Preservation:

Wayward Plants, who created large-scale allotments called The Queen’s Walk Windows Gardens at the Southbank Centre all last summer also made a film in support of us:

And of course there are all these people too:

If this is a Festival of Love – then we’ve yet to feel any sincerity

Peace to all
LLSB

The journey continues…

40 Years Later… 1 Year On: Undercroft Community Jam – 4 May

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Long Live Southbank is one year old! To celebrate our birthday, and to thank you for your support over the last twelve months, we would like to invite you to our Community Jam ‘Forty Years Later… 1 Year On’ taking place at the Undercroft this bank holiday weekend, on Sunday 4th May.

Come and join the global skateboard community as we celebrate the magic of Southbank skate spot and the continued campaign to ensure its preservation for future generations.

The day kicks off at 11am with an Undercroft Skate School, so arrive early to receive free lessons from the experts.

Throughout the day there will be demos and competitions with skate and BMX pros, Southbank regulars old and new, and anyone who wants to join us for a skate!

In addition to all this, there’ll be photography and art displays, DJs, workshops, giveaways, and loads more!

If you are first aid trained and would like to volunteer to help out on the day, drop us an email, or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

So much has happened since Long Live Southbank was set up last April.. With every month that passes, more and more people from around the world add their names to the campaign for preservation. Last month, the team from Real Skateboards stopped off at Southbank to pledge their support.

We have taken some important steps in the right direction, but we will not be finished until we have secured the permanent safety of the Undercroft.

So come down next Sunday, enjoy some bank holiday sunshine, and celebrate this historic community space – the home of skateboarding, BMX, graffiti and creative arts: past, present, and future.

11am – Skate School – Free Lessons for the Public / OG Slalom

1pm – Best Trick / Longest Ollie / BMX Demo

3pm – Local Heroes Skate Demo (Palace, Landscape, Isle, Cliche, Slam City, Supreme and more)

5pm – Skate-For-All (Free-For-All)

Plus photography & art displays, DJs, giveaways, workshops and much more!

Long Live Southbank!