(warning: blog contains nostalgia for the 90's skateboarding scene in Newcastle).
Back in '95 there weren't too many legit places to skate in Newcastle where you weren't going to get the boot after 10 minutes. All the public skate parks were hangovers from the late 80's scramble to build kinked half pipes and capsule bowls. Luckily we had the Bishops Bridge crew who brought their custom built obstacles to the local skateboard association comps but we wanted something permanent. Something the local skate scene could call it's own, somewhere to go and just be, somewhere with minimal interference from gronks and yes men.
South Newy skate park was the first real "street" park in the area and it became a breeding ground for some raw skateboarders. To start with it was the perfect location, central, on the beach and away from the main stream of day to day society and the rules that come with it. Tucked away around the corner from the Surfest shenanigans like an unwanted stepchild. It became home to a community of skaters from all over the Newcastle area. The scene flourished with progression happening on a daily basis. There seemed to be a comp every few months and we started to see skaters drop in from other parts of the country.
With rumours of the demise of it's current structure it's easy to yearn for the nostalgia of it's early days. The park has been an important part of the Newcastle skate scene heritage and it holds a special place is my heart. The skateboarding, the drama, the bickering, the creative projects, the controversy of personal preference (did Cuzza or Coxy have the best run?), the freaks and everything else, you fill in the blanks. You only need to look at the Newy contingent in the latest Volcom WITP comp to realise Newcastle has always had a strong skate community. Is it something in the water, something to thank BHP for maybe?
But, as always the only constant in life is change. If the park is being upgraded may it be to pave the way for the next gen of skaters who want to leave their mark next to those who shredded before them.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.