Do you have memories of Stevenage's Bowes Lyon skate park for history book?
- Credit: Rohum Dilley
A filmmaker and skateboarding enthusiast is appealing for help in compiling a book and making a documentary about the history of one of the oldest skate parks in the UK.
Rohum Dilley grew up in Stevenage and is writing a book about the town’s 1970s Bowes Lyon skate park on St George’s Way – one of the oldest of its kind in the country.
He said: “I grew up skateboarding at Bowes Lyon skate park. It’s all we had at the time, and it was the closest skate park to me.
“Though intimidating at first, the locals there quickly took me under their wing and made me feel like I belonged to a new family.
“I knew there was a lot of rich history behind the park and, though it felt like an old fossil discovered thousands of years ago, it was ours.”
In 2015, Hertfordshire County Council shut the concrete skate park after an independent inspection highlighted concerns about the deterioration of some surfaces. The closure raised disquiet that it would be demolished, after concept drawings of the regenerated town centre didn’t include the park.
But the necessary repair work was carried out the following year after a petition to save the skate park gathered in the region of 2,000 signatures.
An application to Historic England to have the site listed in 2016, however, was unsuccessful.
Rohum said: “I want to create a book to highlight Bowes Lyon skate park’s history as one of the oldest skate parks in the UK.
“From significant events which starred the Bones Brigade [a premier skateboarding team in the 1980s] to professional skateboarders who grew up there, Bowes Lyon skate park has been a foothold in the UK’s skateboarding scene since the 1970s.
“I want to share stories and photos from anyone who grew up there, as it lies at the heart of Stevenage’s culture.”
To this end, Rohum is appealing to Comet readers to submit their personal stories, photos or videos of the skate park – no matter how old – that he could perhaps use as part of the book or documentary.
If you would like to submit items relating to Bowes Lyon skate park for Rohum’s consideration, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.