A skater at Dorchester Skatepark
Dorchester's new skatepark
It's taken 12 years to plan and construct, but the Dorchester Skatepark is now ready to roll - be it on boards, BMX bikes, or blades.
Designed by skaters and handcrafted out of concrete, Dorchester Skatepark, at the junction of Maumbury Road and Weymouth Avenue in the town, is a special "flow" park.
Ian Jennings helped to build the skatepark
Ian Jennings, is one of the skaters who helped to build the £190,000 skatepark.
He says: "Rather than being divided into different units or sections, there are open bowl areas, rollovers and lots of transition.
"As well as that, there's also a street area with a stair set and ledges.
"It's open to more possibilities and skaters can flow from one obstacle to the next, more freely.
"It's actually a very unique design because of its shape. It's built on a triangular site and most others are square or rectangular, so there are lots of interesting quirks in the design."
Former World Champion BMX rider Mark Noble lives in Dorchester and has been lobbying for a skatepark in the town for 12 years.
He says: "I guess the best things come to those who wait.
"It's easily one of the best in the country. It may not be the biggest, but it's great quality and caters for all ages, needs and abilities."
Skaters going with the "flow"
Mark also explains that despite being seen as a retirement town, the reality in Dorchester is quite different.
He says: "The perception is that it's sleepy old town with sleepy old people, but it's actually a huge youth town too.
"Before this skatepark was built, skaters were having to go to Weymouth and other surrounding towns. Failing that they'd ride the streets, or build things in their own back yard."
No more town centre "terrorising"
Jack Crabb, 17, got his first skateboard when he was 5-years-old.
He says: "If this skatepark wasn't here, I'd either be in bed, being lazy, or terrorising the neighbourhood like before, looking for estates to skate in.
"We got abuse from parents coming out saying, "children are sleeping", and from motorists honking their horns.
"It just generally wasn't very nice to skate Dorchester, so I'm so pleased this skatepark is finally here, it's the best thing to happen here in years."
Scott Robyns rides his BMX at the skatepark
Putting Dorchester on the map
23-year-old Scott Roybun agrees.
He says: "I've been BMX-ing for about 7 years and I think this new skatepark is brilliant. I mean, I've come here an hour before work to use it while it's quiet.
"You should see how many kids get here before the sun goes down. It's certainly the place to be and keeps them out of mischief.
"I think it'll certainly wake Dorchester up a bit."
Steve Newman is the Deputy Town Clark at Dorchester Town Council, which helped to fund the park.
He says: "The opening event attracted well over 700 people and not a day has gone by since, when I haven’t seen a significant amount of people using it.
"It will put Dorchester on the map and hopefully the town will benefit with an increase in the economy and tourism."
last updated: 14/05/2009 at 14:54
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