Telegraph Hill Skate Park completed

The Telegraph Hill Skate Park is now open. 
The facility, built in the lower park in Telegraph Hill, next to the football cage, is complete, although some of the landscaping remains to be completed. It will formally open during the Telegraph Hill Festival on Sunday, March  25th, 12pm-4pm. The launch event will include bands, competitions and stalls.
  
With thanks to Imogen for the photos.

125 comments:

Anonymous said...

how many days till it's covered in graffiti?

Anonymous said...

How many days til people start twitching curtains and walking around it with a notebook and pen? Headhunter hasn't been Sky dish spotting for a while...

Benjamin said...

Looks good - need to wander over and take a proper look. Interestingly, one thing I noticed at the weekend was that many people were cycling in the park. When park staff were trying to stop them, they were arguing that if skaters were allowed, they should be too. I'm not making any great point here expect that catering for one interest may lead to demands from other interests for facilities or rights.

Anonymous said...

"how many days till it's covered in graffiti?"

graffiti in a skate park - heavens above!

Titian said...

Yes the South Bank skate bit looks brilliant with its ever changing decoration. They have a spectator rail there it's so popular.

I hope it's covered with street art soon as it will look much better than the drab grey.

Tamsin said...

But skaters are not allowed anywhere except in the skateboard area and, SPAG implied when the issue was raised, this will be self-policed by the skaters themselves.

There are good reasons why bikes and skates and skateboards are not allowed in the lower park except in this designated area - one death and at least two very serious injuries.

Anonymous said...

was very busy on Sunday. Clearly a demand for it.

Anonymous said...

Death??!

Tamsin said...

Before the restoration a lad came off his bike and was killed. There's a memorial seat at the bottom of the Lower Park by Arbuthnot Road.

After the restoration, ironically just as the Park Users Group were having a routine meeting in the Centre with Glendale and LBL congratulating themselves on how well things were going, there was an incident of a grown woman coming off her bike near the rangers hut - helicopter ambulance and all. And other occasions that I don't know any details of when an ambulance has had to be called out. It is not just because we're Grinches that there are the "no cycling" signs painted on the tarmac by every entrance.

Anonymous said...

Wow, scary. But isn't this a potential hazard in any hilly place, not just THP??

Anonymous said...

You take your risks in life.

Oh and the end is nigh!

SJT said...

Re: Benjamin's comment, I noticed the same thing over the weekend and since. There have been a lot more cyclists (and also rollerbladers) - both adults and children. I'm pleased to see that the skate park is already so popular, but am a little concerned that people on wheels will come to dominate the park and potentially put others (especially small children) in danger.

The Masher said...

Graffiti is exactly what Tel Hill needs. Really hip stuff about third-world debt/Palestine etc.
Penis, after all, is mightier than the sword.

Brockley Twitching Society said...

Depends on the sword.

Lou Baker said...

Disappointingly - but unsurprisingly - the skatepark is everything concerned residents feared it would be.

It's a monstrous eyesore - a scar on our beautiful park.

It is loud. I could hear it from the upper park yesterday,

It's dangerous. It has already led to an influx of cyclists/skateboarders in the rest of the park.

It also solves none of the problems it was designed to stop.

And it proves bullying is an effective strategy to get your own way.

I've never been opposed to the idea of a skatepark. But I've always been concerned that in their rush to get it built SPAG would end up with something unsuitable.

Sadly the finished product appears to be even worse than I ever could have imagined.

Where are my roller blades said...

So far, so predictable from Lou. This is the man remember who want to seep aside the nimby tendency and planning law.

Wrong as per....

Anonymous said...

I do think it would be good but sadly when I went past on sat it was being dominated by adult skates smoking weed with the kids being pushed to the sides. Seems there is an unusually large number of Tony Hawk impersonators in the TH area...

Anonymous said...

* skaters

PHONY TAWK said...

SK8 OR DIE, TELEGRAPHORKERS!

LET'S GET OUR DDDANGER ON!

YEAH!

Anonymous said...

La la la la la...oi!

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/skateboarders-are-essential-for-our-cities-693801.html

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah..."kids having fun"...*grumble, grumble, grumble*.

Why can't they go off and be angsty and bored like they used to be? I mean, just what is the world coming to?

Mb said...

Not just temps though. It's often skilled professionals who work in a job that to all intents and purposes is permanent for years at a time, sometimes in a management role so can influence an organisations strategy and even appraise staff? That's wrong and a misuse of a useful system. It's wrong across the board but accept nicks point that it's moreso in the public domain. Just don't turn it into a convenient stick to beat the public sector.

Don't know the circumstances of the six mentioned above though.

Lou Baker said...

It's not about kids having fun.

We need far more fun things for kids to do.

It's about finding an appropriate place for them to do these things.

And this park is just the wrong location for a skatepark.

Still - when a toddler is killed or seriously injured by a skateboarder whizzing out of control down the steep hill, I won't have it on my conscience.

Tim said...

Reading some of these comments sadden me. Kids need ways of letting off steam and being active and this skatepark provide that. It's not perfect, but nothing is in a big city. Chill out guys. If you want peace and solitude, and no people, go live in the country.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile Blackheath is to have missiles stationed there during the Olympics.

Anonymous said...

Just for once Lou is right. It is an eyesore and should have been built somewhere else.

It makes a waste of all the money that was spent on restoring the park only a few years ago. The massive concrete blocks are totally out of place.

The people who allowed this should be ashamed.

Tamsin said...

You can, thankfully, get peace, tranquillity and relative solitude in the Upper Park. And a lovely view of two of the five planets now visible as a fairly rare celestial phenomenon. (In fact four of them according to a friend who was up there with an i-pad and her "Night Sky" app. Too much light pollution for Mercury, she said. For that you do need the country.)

Anonymous said...

Whose idea was it to create a quarter pipe that leads directly into a low fence? That seems a far more likely cause of injury than the odd stray board. What were they thinking?

That said, I look forward to trying the rest of the park out soon!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they could do some self policing on the litter too?

Anonymous said...

Lou is a man's name?! Short for what? And wrong as usual.

Anonymous said...

@Tamsin. With the deaths and injuries was there anything specific about Telegraph Hill Park that meant the person died/got extra injured?

If so, then I can understand why there are no cycling signs. Though I would have thought that removing the offending feature of Telegraph Hill park and not cyclists would have been a better approach.

If it was just an accident why aren't people campaigning for a permenant banning of cycling in the world, as it is so dangerous? Seems like a couple of accidents are being used to force through an unnecessary rule.

Anonymous said...

No Lou is asking whether is was risk assesed against the duty of care that the concil have. H&S legislation, I'm sure he's foamed at the mouth about that in the past? Consitancy has never been high on his list.

Tamsin said...

The paths are exceptionally steep for an urban park - one of the reasons why the land was available to make a park out of in the 1890s - it had been too difficult to build on. Add in a lot of small children - as it is now a very child-oriented park - and the ban is justified.

One might consider a compromise - trikes and bikes with trainer wheels allowed on the flat section between the lower Erlanger Gate and the junior play area, but this might not be necessary if toddlers can learn to cycle on the skate-park - which will presumably be fairly empty of skate-boarders during school hours. One of the advantages that was mentioned by campaigners was the multi-use potential for the facility.

Anonymous said...

The basket ball court would be much more suitable for toddlers learning to cycle. It is much more open and devoid of obstacles and changes in gradient such as those in the skatepark.

Tressilliana said...

Cyclists and pedestrians don't mix well on steep slopes, especially when some of the pedestrians are young children who might not grasp the danger in moving into the path of a cyclist descending at speed. It seems a pretty sensible rule to me.

I'm sure we'd all be better off if more people cycled, but ideally not on pavements, especially as so few of them seem to have grasped the use of the bell to warn pedestrians ahead that they're on their way.

Brockley Nick said...

I agree that a ban on cycling in the lower park seems pretty reasonable given the steep gradient.

Anonymous said...

@ 09:48 - have you been to the park? It's really steep, with sharp bends at the bottom of the hills. I came off my bike and injured myself pretty badly when I was about 10 because I didn't really understand just how steep it was and how my bike would behave at those speeds. It was around this time that the boy died (i seem to remember it had something to do with railings and was horrible).
I cycle to work now and often go through Hilly Fields, if there are school kids or toddlers or dogs about I go quite slowly with my hand over the brake (good thing as a little kid walked right in front of me this morning) but lots of people go really fast and seem to think that it's their right of way. TH park is much smaller than HF and is more densly populated so I agree with the ban.
I'm also in favour of the skate park, I think it looks great :)

THNIck said...

An eyesore? Does it ruin the view of the basketball court? It's not, in itself, dangerous but clearly there needs to be more (self) policing so that people don't skate to/from it. And cyclists who think they have a right to cycle because people are skating need some gentle persuasion otherwise.

Anon - there are lots of rules about where/how you can and can't cycle. You'll notice there is a ban on cycling on the pavement, for safety reasons.

Steve said...

Having read these comments I really feel as though I must add my own thoughts here.
As a local resident and a skateboarder I have been fortunate enough to be able to make use of this facility everyday for the last few days. First and foremost I would like to say that this is a fantastic small skatepark. It makes very imaginative use of the space available and provides the possibility for some very creative and interesting skating. Personally I am delighted to have such a facility on my doorstep. Its success is already evident and those involved in its creation should be very proud of what they have achieved. I have met skaters there who have travelled from all over London,one lad pushed all the way from Vauxhall station (thats 4 miles) to come for a skate, this is evidence of what a brilliant construction it is.

As with any skatepark in its infancy there are a few inevitable teething problems. To address a couple of Lou's issues, firstly I dont think that this skatepark is quite the eyesore you are making it out to be. It does look a little rough around the edges at the moment as the landscaping has not been completed. The dirt areas remaining from the construction will soon be turfed over helping the park to blend with its surroundings. The skatepark has replaced what was essentially a redundant tarmac path and small amount of grass, this has been replaced with a well used facility and a burgeoning community of local skaters both young and old alike that transcends social and economic boundaries. There are very few other facilities that can make claims like this. As for the noise issue I have been unable to hear the skatepark before being relatively close and within the lower park itself. There is an issue with the noise created from boards hitting the acoustic fencing and this is another issue which is being immediately addressed with the use of rubber shock absorbers being considered to counter this.
To the anonymous poster who claimed the park was full of 'weed smoking adult Tony Hawk impersonators' your comment is both extremely patronising and you successfully tarnish a wide variety of older skaters with your deluded brush! The vast majority of older skaters do NOT smoke weed, nor do they attempt to impersonate Tony Hawk, and are in fact positive role models for the younger generation instilling good etiquette and respect for other users.
The park would benefit from a bin at either end to prevent litter, however I have picked up litter upon leaving the park and noticed others do the same.
In the times I have been at the park the vast majority of users have arrived by foot, I have not seen anyone 'hurtling' down the paths towards the park and although I have seen several people on bicycles, none of these were using the skatepark itself.

Another issue I would like to raise is with the parents of young children using the skatepark. I would like to stress that the park is a facility for all those on skateboards, rollerblades and scooters. It is not however, a playground! If your children are using the skatepark they must do so with respect of the other users (this works both ways round) and for those children who are too young to realise for themselves it is the parents responsibility to ensure that they do not end up in harms way. I have seen incidences of parents disposing of their children in the lower section of the skatepark and then leaving to sit with their friends and subsequently leaving them, quite irresponsibly, unsupervised.

I would like to return to the fact that this park is a fantastic facility and a wonderful addition to the Telegraph Hill area and I for one are very proud to call this my local skatepark and look forward to its bright future.

patrick1971 said...

"one lad pushed all the way from Vauxhall station (thats 4 miles) to come for a skate"

Good grief! All the way from Vauxhall?! One one of the two frequent and direct bus routes?! He'll be scaling Everest next with that level of initiative.

patrick1971 said...

Sorry, "on one of the...".

John Boy Walton said...

Tamsin

"which will presumably be fairly empty of skate-boarders during school hours" Really?

Also it is a shame that the absence of nearby bins means that the skaters think it ok to litter. Most parks have litter bins near the entrance and exit.

Tamsin said...

Well, if not the relevant authorities will know where to look for truants.

Litter bins is a good point. There's another park meeting coming up in May which will be looking at how things have settled down after a couple of months and we can make this suggesstion.

BrockleyBiker said...

Really glad to see it was built and the objections of the parochial village types not listened to. It is a positive things for the community.

Anonymous said...

Well said Steve. Good to hear the views of someone who actually uses the facilities and a very balanced argument.

THNick said...

Patrick1971 - or he might manage to learn how to read ("pushed" versus "rode on the bus")

Anonymous said...

'We need far more fun things for kids to do'

Whatever happened to having an imagination...

Lou's eldest said...

I used to have fun with a cardboard box and a urine soaked nappie - these kids today, spoilt rotten

Lou Baker said...

@Steve

You post an eloquent argument - but you're wrong.

And here's why.

This facility was approved on the basis that it was supposed to be a small scale skatepark for local kids. It was not supposed to attract a wider crowd. It was also conceived to stop younger kids risking their own lives (and annoying residents) by skateboarding on the roads in the evenings. It was supposed to be aesthetically pleasing and create no noise nuisance. None.

It fails to do all those things promised.

You have admitted it is used by older kids and adults. You have said people are travelling half way across south London to get to it. So much for 9 year olds from Jerningham Rd. We're bringing in 48 year olds from Wandsworth instead. It's in a park which closes at night. It is a huge ugly chunk of Soviet nuclear bunker style concrete. Hideous. And it's noisy.

It is all the things the bullies told us it wouldn't be.

Now, I do not live within eye or ear shot of the park.
The skatepark doesn't affect me anymore than it would in any other park. And I support the basic idea of there being one. But this one is clearly in the wrong location.

And that's bad for everyone. Because as more and more park users and residents see what has happened, you'll see an outcry. Particularly when the graffiti comes - which it will - you'll see the the tone of the park change. There will be fewer familiar toddlers, more unfamiliar teenagers. It will be slow and subtle but it will happen.

And that's sad because eventually the community will turn against it - and I'm sure we'll see the skatepark bulldozed within a handful of years.

patrick1971 said...

@THNick - oh, does "pushed" mean "rode on his skateboard"? I thought it was just a slangy way of saying "got here somehow". In which case I retract my little joke.

ese said...

Hideous, noisy, eye-sore, bad for everyone, in the wrong location.

You've summed yourself up neatly there, Lou.

Lou Baker said...

@ese
As usual it is easier to abuse the messenger than to listen to the message and engage with it.

Do you also beat up the postman when he brings your tax bill? In the unlikely event you pay any tax of course.

*splutter!!* said...

"As usual it is easier to abuse the messenger than to listen to the message and engage with it."

Oh the irony, please tell me you recognise that?

Steve said...

Lou I'm afraid your pigheadedness is getting the better of you here.
I think you'll find I am in no way 'wrong' in anything I have said. I am only singing the praises of an extremely well designed, small-scale skate facility. I played no part in the processes that resulted in the construction of the skatepark, I am just grateful that they were successful and they should be proud of what they have achieved.
As I stated this is a very well designed facility that accommodates for a complete spectrum of users from 9 year olds from Jerningham road to 48 year olds from Wandsworth and as a public park they should all be welcomed equally. This is the sign of a successful public facility and this should be celebrated.
As for your 'soviet bunker' the park is very clean and neat in its construction and is not a neo-brutalist monstrosity, i will also say that this is a subjective opinion held by yourself, and undoubtedly others, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that.

Im sorry Lou but as far as Im concerned your digging yourself into a deeper hole especially as you seem to think that the 'skatepark dosnt bother you' but continue to make petty arguments undermining a public, community facility that will go on to prove its worth. It's just a shame that your blinkered vision will not enable to see past your clouded self obsessed opinions.

I hope you will continue to enjoy this beautiful park regardless and you never know, you might even come round on a couple of points, hell why not pop over to the skatepark and say hello.

Anonymous said...

There is an irony here. Much of the original skatepark support came from people living on very, very low-traffic local roads. Understandably, these residents were tired of the noise from skateboarders disturbing their peaceful streets, and knew it was potentially dangerous, so supported a skatepark. I'm not against this, or any other, skatepark and I'm not saying that local kids only took up skateboarding because there were some very inviting streets near where they lived, but I do think that anyone arguing for the roads across Telegraph Hill to remain - and even become more - restricted entry should realise that the original driver for this skatepark was, partly, a consequence of this.

Lou Baker said...

@steve

It's not pigheaded at all.

A series of promises, assurances and undertakings were given - not only when this plan was proposed but when
it was approved.

From what I can ascertain, they have pretty much all been broken.

I am disappointed by this - but not surprised. The whole process has been grubby.

Skateboarding is a niche sport. Here, the desires of a few have bulldozed through the interests of the many. That isn't right.

And there I rest my case. Arguing with bullies just gets you beaten up and abused - and I'm not going to be doing with that.

Anonymous said...

It's only been open 5 minutes. How about you give it a chance before launching into a 'chop of their scumbag benefit claiming hands' rant as per every other fecking day on here you dull, dull man.

ese said...

Lou, I'd engage with your message but I'm too busy ironing my corduroy trousers to wade through the froth and figure out exactly what it is.

Anonymous said...

Nick, again I'll ask for some kind of voluntary code where users are asked to agree to ensuing that comments are restricted addressing others' comments and personal insults are not acceptable...

If you don't agree with somebody that's fine but attacking people directly is not part of a proper debate. Clearly some of you were not paying attention during debating society meetings.

Brockley Nick said...

There is a voluntary code. It comes up every time you post a comment. Click on acceptable comment policy.

Anonymous said...

Mr Baker your continued remarks about bullies are starting to become very offensive. Get bakc under your bridge and shut up.

D said...

Has the skatepark in Ladywell fields been covered in unsightly graffiti, and plagued with anti-social behaviour? Maybe I missed all of that, but it always looks fine whenever I've been past.
I daresay the TH one will be the same.

Ian said...

Well its here now, I spent a very enjoyable half an hour watching a chap skating and was impressed by the skill and athletiscism involved. Hats off to the SPAG people, well done.

Tamsin said...

Lou is right to be worried but a bit premature in predicting disaster. There are issues of concern - more young people are breaking into the park at night (a problem for their own safety as much as an on-going and increasing irritation for the neighbour), some are skateboarding down the paths rather than carrying their boards to where the skateboard area is, and - what I hadn't heard of in the Park meeting but has been mentioned here - litter. But it is very early days - there were similar issues when the park first re-opened after the refurbishment.

Let's see what the position is in a couple of months time, and report then to the Parks meeting. It may well be that when the novelty has worn off it will become what was envisaged, a facility for younger local skaters. And hopefully the tone will be set at the opening ceremony with the do's and don'ts clearly spelled out and a pattern set for responsible behaviour.

Glendale and SPAG are working towards a scenario where graffiti will not be tolerated or a problem and the appearance will presumably be softened a bit by the as yet unfinished landscaping.

John Boy Walton said...

No need to worry Tamsin - the vocal and forthright SPAG will ensure the park is policed well and that they adhere to all the promises they made at the meetings.

I'm sure they have already reacted to the litter problem and pop out of their homes to have a quick pick up every night.

A group who were so vociferous in wanting this, and so adamant that their kids would be responsible and mature skaters, wouldn't allow the naysayers to be proved right almost from the outset...would they?

Anonymous said...

Tamsin munged:

"some are skateboarding down the paths rather than carrying their boards to where the skateboard area is"

Well that's it, the very end of society is upon us.

creepylesbo said...

The skatepark has certainly been very popular since its completion - although I was a little concerned for their safety after seeing some climbing the fence before it was completed. But it's definitely created a lot more people skateboarding down the roads surrounding the skatepark - and they are such hilly roads and they are coming down so fast on their boards (and of course none wear helmets) that it's only a matter of time before someone comes a cropper on one of the roads, probably with a car involved. How is the noise to the residents on Pepys Road? I was tempted to get my board out when it's not busy myself. Maybe if all us oldies monopolise it being slow and rubbish, it will scare the kids off. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I don't think the sad death in the park many years ago is particularly relevant.

As I recall it related to a feature that is no longer in the park. The slide on the hillside used to be much longer and faster, I think someone went down it on a bike, lost control and went into the fence and was fatally injured on the railings. The slide was replaced when the park was relandscaped.

Tamsin said...

@ Anon. 20.56 - not the end of society but a potentially nasty accident if a child toddling up the path and a skateboarder coming down it on collision course both take evasive action in the same direction. (As a child I was once riding my bike at our exremely forgiving dog - horrible wasn't I? - intending, of course, to swerve away at the last minute, unfortunately she did so too. She wasn't hurt and I wasn't bitten but it is how accidents happen.)

@ creepy lesbo - the noise has been reported as an issue for Pepys Road residents, particularly after dark even though the park is officially closed. But it's been mentioned above that there are still refinements to the fencing to be added or completed so may be this will be improved. And if those concerned keep a proper diary of disturbance (curtain twitching to good purpose) Glendale - and the police to whom after hours trespass is referred - will know there is a problem and can take relevant steps to deal with it early on.

@ Anon 6.10 The slide was (by hugely popular demand) replaced much as it had been before, when the park restoration was done - but you are right that the railings have been remodelled. So I probably shouldn't invoke Matthew's death as an example. But the other very serious injuries are more recent and were to do with the topography of the park that can't be changed.

Tamsin said...

And, one has to say, the stupidity of the cyclist - which also seems to be something one can't change.

Lou Baker said...

I took my kids to the park last night.

Sadly, I now say with confidence that it is only a matter of time until there is a serious skatepark related injury.

I saw at least a dozen kids either skate or cycle - at speed - to or from the skatepark. Some weaving in and out of the toddlers.

One girl - who clearly couldn't roller skate - launched herself (again at speed) from the Kitto/Erlanger entrance towards the skatepark. She just missed the oncoming toddler on a scooter but nearly impaled herself on the railings instead.

I'm all for social Darwinism. If you are stupid enough to try something risky - and you hurt yourself or die in the process - that's your call. If 20 skateboarders a day break their legs, that's entirely their own responsibility.

But if a speeding skater knocks over and hurts or kills an
innocent toddler ......The layout of the skatepark makes such an event not just possible but almost inevitable. I don't skate. But I cycle and ski. And small busy areas, young children, steep slopes, obstacles, speed and railings are not a good mix. I just wonder how long it will be until we're discussing a serious accident on here.

Last night there were a few dozen people using the skatepark. But there were many more just hanging around. A bunch of teenagers were drinking bottled beer and smoking something that didn't smell like cigarettes. The amount of litter around was a disgrace - the whole embankment was covered in it.

Then there's the noise - which can be clearly heard in the Upper Park. And Tamsin suggests some people have been breaking in to use the skatepark at night.

All these things we were assured wouldn't happen. Those who raised concerns were shouted down. Well SPAG - we do have some nice kids looking to have fun. But we also have loitering youths - alcohol, drugs, litter, anti-social behaviour.

You haven't officially opened yet and your zero tolerance policy has so far been demonstrated to have zero truth behind it. Shocking. But we told you so.

Anonymous said...

teenagers, drinking and smoking in a park! this is a new low, never happened in my day.....oh.

Anonymous said...

further more, is Tamsin now a font of wisdom? Normally you treat her with increadible rudness.

As usual your hyperbolic doom laden arguments mean that they will be dismissed by most people with a sense of proportion.

Please resopond with a brainless insult about pinko sanel wearers and how I obviously endorse teenagers shooting up smack while cycling blindfold, which is the only conclusion to be drawn from me finding you laughable.

Lou Baker said...

What's laughable?

A toddler being killed or seriously injured? You find that funny? Really?

Just sit in the park for half an hour at a busy time and watch.

As for the teenagers, if they're old enough (and some of them weren't) then they can drink. But smoking dope is illegal. And dropping litter is an offence too,

I am sure these things do not matter to you. An injured toddler here, a spliff there, some rubbish in the corner, a bunch of people in hoodies just hanging around.

But they are exactly the sort of things that ultimately turn a nice family park in to a no go area for families. It won't happen overnight. Or even this week or month. Maybe not even this year. The decline will be gradual.

But if SPAG do not take immediate responsibility for what they've created and enforce the zero tolerance policy they promised on anti-social behaviour then the decline will happen.

And - whatever you think - hurtling down a steep hill in a small park on a skateboard towards an area full
of toddlers IS dangerous and anti-social.

As for Tamsin, I disagree with her scaremongering about the NHS - and find the conservation police infuriating. But I recognise she does a lot and contributes a lot both to our community and this site. She has reservations about the skatepark too. You can insult me all you like - I'm used to it - but you should listen to her.

Anonymous said...

A young boy was killed in the park, some years ago, from memory I think there is a plaque remembering him on the railings at the lower end. Bicycle accident I think, may be wrong though.

And the body of a (presumed) prostitute was discovered in the park, perhaps 20 years ago - not sure if that crime was ever solved.

DJ said...

Has anyone brought up these concerns to SPAG? Might be more constructive than speculating about death and drug abuse on a blog...

Anonymous said...

Good grief. When i was a lad (70's) and skate boarding was a new craze in the UK, we used to find the fastest, steepest road and go straight down the middle of it...not on my own either...

When the local park built a skatepark - guess what? We all used that and surely that is safer than anything else?

Lou Baker said...

Yes - but this isn't about you.

If you choose to skate down the middle of a road - that is your risk. If you hurt yourself - well hard luck, it was your call.

Likewise if you hurt yourself in a skatepark, up to you. Your risk completely.

Now, for you, a skatepark is safer than a road - and that's great.

But when you put that skatepark in a small busy park with steep hills, blind corners and railings - well then it's not just you at risk.

I have no problem with any of the skaters hurting themselves. But the location of this skatepark - and the
blatant flouting of no skating or cylcing elsewhere in the park rules -makes it all but inevitable that, one day, one of you will seriously hurt someone else too. That's my objection.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I'm anti-skateboard-park, but I was there this afternoon with my five-year-old and I have to say the atmosphere was fantastic.

Edmund Waller was closed today, so there were lots of quite young children on the skatepark, as well as the older kids/adults (?). There was lots of helpful chat going on, "are you alright" when the young ones took a tumble, and the big kids were showing the young ones how to do little tricks on their scooters.

There even seemed to be less litter today too.

I'm not quite converted, but willing to give it a chance. For now.

Brockley Nick said...

I love it when people post these kind of honest, balanced, nuanced posts. More like this please.

Anonymous said...

So what you're saying Nick, if I'm right, is "more honest fare"?

Deborah said...

It's early days. It will settle down soon. If you have concerns or ideas why not actually speak to someone in SPAG about them. The skatepark is there now. It's easy and lazy to say, I TOLD you it would be awful, why not think more positively and contribute constructively to it's success. Also, hoodies are practical items of clothing; there is a person inside a hoodie. I don't know, you could always speak to them, they might be quite nice.
Steve, well said, good for you by the way.

Jeremy said...

This is all well and good but how does it affect the value of my 5 bedroom 600k Victorian house purchased for a song 10 years ago?

Anonymous said...

The skatepark seems very well used which is great.
Could the people from SPAG take it in turns to clear the litter from around the skatepark? That would be much nicer than leaving it for the park keeper.

Anonymous said...

Well, the graffiti's started.

Shame said...

Deborah - are you a mum from Spag?

Much much easier would be for SPAG to honour thier commitment - and sort out the litter - which is really doing them no favours

Lou Baker said...

@Shame

It would be much easier for SPAG to honour their commitments.

But don't hold your breath. This whole process has all been about getting their own way - and now they have I would expect those commitments to be forgotten. After all the issues the community raised as concerns were not really issues SPAG agreed with.

They knew there would be no noise, they knew there would be no graffiti, no litter, no loitering, drinking or drug taking. They knew little Johnny would pick up his skateboard and walk from the park entrance to the skatepark - because that's what teenagers do. They knew no one would break in at night, because that's just not cricket.

This group has been wrong about everything. Worse, it has viciously attacked anyone who dare raise concerns. Even people like me who have no objection to the principle of a skatepark.

The community should show SPAG the zero tolerance it promised. Buck up your act, and fast, or lose this honour the community has granted you.

I suspect when the reality of them having to clean up their own litter and graffiti hits home - along with the need for them to tackle the anti-social elements - SPAG will be nowhere to be seen.

I hate to say I told you so but .....

Anonymous said...

This is why i moved from telegraph hill to Ladywell - there are far too many unpleasant people in TH

Anonymous said...

Yes Lou, you've said. Several times.

DJ said...

Lou, I'll ask again - have you actually spoken to anybody at SPAG about your concerns? I must say you seem rather too keen on a negative outcome and a chance to rant about how awful everybody is...

Anonymous said...

"Telegraph Hill" is just a collection of nice houses on a hill in a shitty part of London.

If you're lucky you won't get mugged on your walk up Pepys Road at night.

Hurrah!

Lou Baker said...

@dj

I have spoken to the people from SPAG before - and got verbally abused. Not going down that road again.

I just don't want our lovely park ruined. I am now certain the skatepark is in the wrong place - but I accept it's now there.

What I do not accept is that all the assurances that were made to get it built will now be ignored just because it's been built.

SPAG mum's should be on patrol clamping down on this stuff they promised us would never happen. And they're either not or, if they are, then they're not doing it very well. Where is the park warden? Where are the police?

It would be awful for this community - not just the majority who don't skateboard but for the small minority who do - if the anti-social element is allowed to damage our lovely park.

Our lovely park - where litter has not been a significant problem, until this week. Which has been almost always been graffiti free, until this week. Which has had joyful noises of birdsong and children playing until this week, when the gunshot style sound of crashing skateboards has been added. Where drinking has been limited to adults with picnics and a bottle of wine until this week, not pre-teens with special brew. Where parents could allow their toddlers to toddle freely, until this week when high speed bikes and skateboards have been whizzing by. When the park has been quiet and peaceful at night, until this week when Tamsin suggests skateboarders have broken in to use it the skatepark.

These negative changes are not me being unneighbourly. They are all things SPAG assured us would not happen. They have all happened and the skatepark has not even officially opened yet.

Anonymous said...

if the park has more people using it beacuse it has facilities that the locals want to use and if people drop litter then an increase in one will lead to an increase in the other.

and?

Anonymous said...

children playing until this week, when the gunshot style sound of crashing skateboards has been added

yes, children playing

Tamsin said...

I suspect the SPAG people are watching this thread and taking concerns on board. Some of them might have been single- and even possibly a bit bloody-minded while they were feeling every step they were taking was being blocked by those they saw as nimbies, but there is now no reason why they should not be co-operative and conciliatory.

It is in everyone's interests to keep the skatepark - now it is there - clear of graffiti and litter and a nice place to be, and they are in the best position to make this happen.

As said earlier, Glendale at the park meeting on 5th March asked those disturbed by out of hours trespass to keep a log of incidents and report them to the police so that the scale of any problem can be assessed and measures taken to nip any issues in the bud and set an appopriate tone for the future.

Another meeting in May and the joint chairs of the committee of the Park Users Group can be contacted on park {at} thehill.org.uk

DJ said...

Lou, I think you're being a bit over the top (and you're usually so measured!) - pre-teens with Special Brew? Really?
If you're so bothered speak to SPAG and speak to the kids who ride down the hill and share your concerns - seems obvious to me.

Tamsin said...

@Anon 10.56 ...and people shouldn't drop litter. Full stop. There are bins by every exit and - oh horror - put it in your pocket or a bag and take it home.

Agreed, though, that extra bins by the skatepark would be useful. This is something that will be taken up with Glendale and LBL.

Jacqui said...

hi

Lou Baker said...

@DJ

We should all be bothered. It is not my park. It is not your park AND it is NOT SPAG's park. We have to share it. It is a community space.

The community has given some of that space over to a group for a skatepark. That group has promised the addition of the skatepark will have no negative impact on the rest of the park or its users.

Whether it's litter, graffiti, loitering, under-age drinking, excessive noise (which can be heard clearly in the Upper Park) or anti-social behaviour we should hold them to that. Do you not think?

Brockley Nick said...

Things that bother me:

Litter
Dangerous riding on steep hills with small kids around

Things that don't bother me:

Kids going in to the park at night
Hoodies
Graffiti on the ramp
Noise of people playing in a park
Under age drinking (don't believe there's much of this associated with skateboarding, it rather limits your ability to skate)
'Loitering' (whatever that is)

If there is lots of litter being dropped, I agree that SPAG should take a lead in picking it up and changing the culture before it becomes a habit.

sarah said...

Hi Jacqui, Thanks very much for coming onto the thread. I just wanted to say congratulations on the skatepark. It's nice to hear the skaters enthusiastically using the park. I am concerned about the litter though as I think it gives a good thing a potentially bad rep. Is there a plan for SPAG to organise it being cleared on a regular basis please? It doesn't really seem fair to leave it all to the park keeper.
Best wishes,
Sarah

DJ said...

Yes. I do. But I don't live in Telegraph Hill and you do. Plus you're the one repeatedly claiming that somebody will soon be killed and the whole park overtaken by feral drug taking youth.
So do something about it.

DJ said...

Lou - see what Sarah is doing? That's how intelligent adults communicate in an attempt to reconcile differences.
Look and learn - you'll get there (either that or go postal in Telegraph Hill park one day before 'tragically' turning the gun on yourself).

Tamsin said...

People should be bothered about graffiti on the ramp. This aspect of modern culture is totally out of place in what is essentially a Victorian park in a Victorian streetscape which got £1.25m Heritage Lottery funding on the basis of restoration (so far as compatible with modern play requirements) of the classic Sexby design.

When the park was first restored there was risk of graffiti but scotched at the outset by a zero tolerance well enforced by Glendale who removed tags on the buildings within 24 hours of their appearing. The same has to apply in the skatepark. It is not the 1950s Southbank.

Jacqui said...

Hi I am a member of Spag and would like to say we have been monitoring the Skatepark as much as we can over the past week (my small son has a viral infection so not as much as I would have liked)

I am really pleased to see lots and lots of children using it and all having fun and getting on together and getting some exercise to boot. There is a fantastic atmosphere there. I have been approached by many many kids and many more parents saying they think it great.
I would in answer to Lou like to say that Spag are not bullies and this proposal was supported by the vast majority of locals. At the local assembly with only 30 or so youngsters voting we had a show of hands 74% in favour (over 300 people turned out) of a Skatepark in the lower park. The amount of children using shows the amount of children and Yp who Skate and want a facilty like this.
We are trying to do something about the rubbish really the bins should have gone in before the build was finished but Glendale are going to put 2 extra bins in asap. There is a unforeseen side effect that the acoustic fencing we had to have is in fact causing more noise than the actual skating. I hope this is resolved soon and that people will not have to put up with these loud booms that are currently happening.
There is some Grafftti which the council are to remove asap. This is something that does happen in the park occasionally already and a zero tolernace is the way to deal with it.
As to kids getting into the park after dark this also was happening before the skatepark went in. However I agree it may at the moment be more than usual. I went down to the park 5 mins before closing last night and found one bike and 4 roller bladers no skater's and I asked them to leave. they were all very polite but they did say that they hadn't heard the bell. Just as we were all walking out the man came to lock the gates and told me that they don't sound the bell anymore. The boys I spoke to said they were not asked to leave and were just staying and getting locked in. (On purpose I suspect ) but I think we need to get the park keeper to be more pro.active. We realise that this could seem a bit of a daunting task for him as he hasn't on the whole had to deal with larger crowds of older kids. So we are introducing him to the local boys so he has names and faces and hopefully support when he comes to ask them to pick up their litter or leave.
There has been a fantastic atmosphere in the upper area this week and the ball court is busier than usual. I asked a few of the kids about this they said "Yeah its cool now it’s fun to be here" I think they think of it as their own space. I am pleased they feel this way and the ball court getting more use is an unexpected bonus.
We will work hard to talk to all the skaters and other users about not skating down into the park and we will keep this up over the next coming weeks. Please do the same as long as your polite most of the kids will be back.
Anyone who has concerns they would like to discuss further please email us at skateparkactiongroup@hotmail.co.uk and we will get back to you and it is not our way to be abusive may I add.
Let’s let the Skatepark get settled in and as a community monitor its effect. It will have teething problems but I believe it will all be so worth it.

DJ said...

I like a bit of graffiti - done well it's an artform (tags not so much). Go to Berlin, it's everywhere and looks ace.
But if you don't like it it's clearly easy enough for Glendale to remove.

DJ said...

What a marvelous post. Well said Jacqui.
Lou, happy now? Happier, I mean - I doubt you're ever actually happy.

gerald said...

what a great idea this is , those that who are against this idea need to be more open mined then just be negative. it was always likely that graffti would end up there simple solution to that is to commision a nice mural to make it look a little better. these skate boarders are not the meanaces you are making them out to be if they wasnt in the park where elese would they go. not every one is old enough to travel and the exspense for a teenager is not cheap.

Anonymous said...

DJ said...
Lou - see what Sarah is doing? That's how intelligent adults communicate in an attempt to reconcile differences.
Look and learn - you'll get there (either that or go postal in Telegraph Hill park one day before 'tragically' turning the gun on yourself).


Regardless of who's who here (I have no interest in taking sides), you're not exactly practising what you preach...

Anyway... carry on.

Anonymous said...

Glad i don't live near here.

DJ said...

I was being 'humourous' Anon. Thanks though.

Natas said...

Ha ha Lou comparing the noise of skateboards to gunshot says it all really.

Stay off the slope Lou, we wouldn't you to get hit by a drunk, stoned, spray painting, hoodie wearing, feral skater who's loitering with intent to run people over.

On Pepys Road said...

As someone who lives directly opposite the skate area, and watched the concrete lorries rolling in every day, I was quite excited to see what the end result would bring.

By and large, I think it's a mixed bag - but in general, the facility is positive in my eyes. Something like this is always going to have positives and negatives depending on who you are, but on balance I think it's better that it's there, than not.

As a close neighbour, my own particular negative is the noise. In a reasonably quiet hour after school is out there might be perhaps 6 "active" skateboarders, and the same number looking on. The noise is not particularly overbearing, but is reasonably continual - perhaps a 5 second quiet period between the clatter sound on average. Rather than hearing it as individual "gun shot" noises, it becomes a continuous background noise, adding to that from other children playing, the traffic, and planes to Heathrow, which are quite noisy up here.

Can I ask whether anyone is aware of a formal process to collect opinions now that the facility is here? It would make sense to me to run this process, and then in a calm, analytical way go through what solutions (if any) are needed to meet the greatest and most important needs.

Anonymous said...

Society 1 Mungs 0

Anonymous said...

Society 1 Mungs 0

Ian said...

Well I get your point Tamsin about grafitti, I don't like it. But is the park Victorian or Telegraph Hill for that matter? It's an area that was designed and built in the Victorian era. The park has to meet the needs of a contemporary community and the addition of the skatepark meets one of those needs. As I've said before, it's here now and unless somebody stumps up the cash to hire a JCB and dig it up, it'll be here for a long time. Its early days, give it a chance to settle in.

Anonymous said...

As you read thisI can hear dear old Lou Baker revving up his backhoe under his bridge.

Anonymous said...

Lou you are a very negative person, and the majority of your comments are unfounded. If you don't like this park DON'T GO THERE.

Anonymous said...

I dislike such prescriptive comments. Lou is entitled to his opinions on the issues, as we all are, and I believe that we should all refrain from making comments personal.

Tamsin said...

Ian - only picked this up just now on the latest comment by an anon.

Agree the skatepark is here and - like having a ball park rather than a bandstand - meets a more modern need than those of the Victorian era (or the inter-war years when there were open-air dances and concerts). But a modern skatepark does not have to come with gaffiti and it is regrettable that they were so prominent in the film (which I have also only just seen) of the opening.

Let it settle in - but on acceptable lines so far as anti-social behaviour is concerned - and with a rational and informed discussion next park meeting in May.

Ian said...

We both agree that we don't like grafitti, but lets not pretend that it's a new problem created y the presence of the skatepark. As a parent who has for many years, played in the park with my kids, I have always been aware of grafitti. The little hut in the small kids playground is covered in it. There has been and always will be grafitti, Pompeii is covered in it. The thing about the skatepark is that it's a larger canvas and young people have access to more sophisticated equipment for making their marks. As I said before, let it settle in.

Tamsin said...

Agreed - whenever there is a new canvas to work on and examples to encourage. There was a spate of it after the park restoration but Glendale were very hot on getting rid of if within 24 hours so the graffiti artists (and I actually consider that in the right context it can amount to art) gave up. Quite far sighted of Glendale in that the investment in dealing promptly with the matter paid off in preventing long-term costs of intermittent cleaning of large accumulations.

With this tempting new surface the Parks group and - if they would concede the need - SPAG need to ensure Glendale do the same this time. And it was a pity that the preparations for the otherwise great event on the opening - which was obviously going to be filmed and photographed - did not include setting some helpers to cleaning or camouflage. But I do acknowledge there were far more crucial things to concentrate on.

Anonymous said...

Years ago (this is going back to the 1970s admittedly) the tennis courts were locked and you paid a fee to the park-keeper to use them.

If the vandalism and anti-social behavoiur continues, the same should be done to for the skae-park. Put it in a cage like the ball-courts, and it can only be used when a fee is paid and the park-keeper is there to monitor usage. Either children deserve to have the facilities or they don't - it's up to them.

Anonymous said...

ahaha Lou Baker did you write mambo no. 5? can't wait to shred this

Anonymous said...

I think the skate park is great...i go there everyday with friends and i make lots of new friends there too...yes we get a bit noisy but thats just how kids are..you cannot expect us to skateboard and rollerblade in silence..that would be a waste of time....so Lou i dont see why your making it such a bit deal..its staying and theres nothing you can do to stop kids having a social life.

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