When We Was Rad:
Skateboard History from UK Vintage Magazine

Big Ramps and Barbecues at Beast Manor

Jason Lunn: Barbecue at Beast ManorOne of the most fabulous private ramps soared for a while in the home-counties just North of London. A Fallbrook equivalent, perhaps, sessioned by a select group of local initiates and visitors.


Look at the trees in these pictures, look at the leaves. See how they change from green to gold, and then drop off. This story is a fake. It’s not about a barbecue at Beast Manor at all: it’s about the end of the summer of 89.

In fact the party in the pictures took place: there was a barbecue to celebrate John’s thirteenth birthday. But there was a party every weekend at Beast Manor, come to that. As the skate scene in Britain fragmented into micro scenes, each jealously guarding their fragment of street, bank or mini-ramp, a band of good old vert skating boys took to the hills north of London… Out of the remains of an old midi-ramp scene grew a new one which had acquired the taste for vert.

Age, years of skating or technical skill did not matter. All that counted was attitude: a commitment to skating and playing hard all weekend long. Occasionally they would bust out on forays to vintage skate places in the surrounding area, but for the most part they would shred on their big ramp — free from the snake sessions, the posing and the trick-up-manship of the overcrowded minis.

CAPTION: Treating the skate establishment with total contempt: Lunn, Grapefruit to Fakie

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