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Story about skateboard competition in Crouch End

This is an example of skateboarders getting involved with the local community to try to prevent the destruction of a public space. The competition was staged as one of many events to draw attention to the threat the build a road along the line of the green walkway:

The ramp’s in a disused railway cutting which has found new life as the Parkland Walk. It stretches for over three miles between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park in North London, providing a precious piece of greenland, recycled once already from another age of transport — that of the railway branch line.

In December 1986 the Department of Transport produced a report stating that London traffic was too great and claiming that public transport was inadequate to cope. Instead of addressing the problem directly by investing in a better public transport system and converting people to use it, they commissioned a report to look at the general state of London traffic, to come up with new options and specific proposals. Once these proposals were made public this year, it came to light that the Parkland Walk was definitely a target.

Of a total of twelve proposals for new routes put forward, seven specifically dealt with putting a road through the Parkland Walk. With odds like that the threat is quite real. ‘THE FRIENDS OF THE PARKLAND WALK’ are a community action group formed in 1988 who are determined to stop the road developer’s plans. The competition was planned to draw a bit of attention to the threat. Rain had meant that it had to be postponed from the original date and unfortunately this seemed to affect the number of people who turned up to watch the event. Nevertheless the sixteen competitors who entered the A and B group skated as well as they could.

In the B group each skater had two 45 second runs, with one rebate which could be taken in either run. Most people preferred to save it for the second ride. The eight competitors were Stuart McGraw, John Pearson, Ray Kurtis, Ian Jewell, Tom Murray, Ali Cairns, Russell Rosenthal and Gerald Roche.

Once they got under way the B group showed what they lacked in trick quantity they made up for in go-for-it aggression. All managed to pull a couple of tricks and not just the basic rock and roll or grind. Taking 5th and 4th respectively were Gerald Roche and Ali Cairns. Third place went to Ian Jewell who impressed everyone with his backside fast-plants and airs _ including some hot Judo’s. A well deserved second place went to Ray Kurtis. He does the smoothest frontside Smith grinds as well as the odd indy nosepick. Tom Murray was the man in first, hanging on to some real flappy airs and speedy alley ooped 50/50s. He claimed his prize.

Informative caption: Tom Murray, who skates for New Deal and won the B Group, shreds to kill

Bugs lays back and thinks of Bracknell

It’s about time a picture of Mike Manzoori appeared in this magazine. Rad Airwalks to Tail and an A group first do the trick

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