One of London’s oldest skateparks gets revamped in time for the Olympics

Credit: Sam Elstub

Hackney Bumps has undergone a transformation to take it from an un-usable patch of space in East London, to become a thriving area for skateboarders, through the incredible efforts of Hackney Bumps Community Group and recently supported by Skateboard GB and Habito.

Hackney Bumps is a 1980s-era skateboard facility in Daubeney Fields London.  It was one of the last public amenities built by the Greater London Council before its dissolution in 1986. The surface had become rough, cracked and barely usable, often littered with shopping trolleys and burned out motorbikes.

In early 2019 a group of local skateboarders started the ‘Hackney Bumps Community Group’, dedicated to regenerating the site.  An innovative, cost-effective option to improve the site by ‘polishing’ with handheld angle-grinders was suggested by Daryl Nobbs of skatepark company Betongpark.  But with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, grant funding earmarked for the site by a national funding body and Hackney Council was put on hold indefinitely.

To ensure that the project continued, two local volunteers, Nick Tombs and Greg King, decided they would polish the skatepark themselves – painstakingly hand-polishing the site, a few square metres a day, every day, as part of their permitted daily exercise during the first national lockdown.

Earlier this year Skateboard GB and Habito helped assisting with the project and this week will see the final developments completed on the skatepark, which will be celebrated through a skateboarding event taking place on the site on Wednesday 21st July.

Skateboarding is set to make its premiere at the Olympic Games next week, with 2 skateboarders qualifying for the games and representing Team GB. Research by Habito reveals Skateboarding is the most anticipated new Olympic sport, according to 1 in 10 Brits.  This in turn has helped create a surge in skateboarding participation in London and the rest of the UK and completion of the Hackney Bumps project will provide a much needed space to be used by skaters of all ages; including by a much larger proportion of women and girls, children and families than is usually found in skateparks.

Chris Lawton, Skateboard Community Development Officer at Skateboard GB said “We are thrilled to see the final works being completed at ‘The Bumps’. Nick, Greg and the rest of the community have achieved something that’s incredibly inspiring for skaters worldwide and it was great to help get the project over the line on the final stages”.

Abba Newbery, CMO at Habito said “We’re passionate about shining a spotlight on skateboarding and showing just how important it is in the regeneration and development of urban areas across the country. It’s been awesome to be a part of this project with Hackney Bumps, and seeing how a flourishing skateboarding scene can add to an area’s community, to its culture and make it a great place to live.

“We’re delighted that the nation is as excited as we are to see skateboarding featured as an Olympic sport for the first time this year, and we hope it will encourage many new audiences to give it a go.”

Hackney Bumps Skateboarding Event will take place from 3pm on Wednesday 21st June 2021, with free beginner sessions, skateboard workshops, and highest ollie competition. Entry is free.

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