is the head man at Unit 23 - Dumbarton's all-new indoor skatepark.
The plywood paradise is nearly finished, so we met up with him for
a few words...
When is Unit 23 due to open?
Hopefully the 21st of June.
How long has it taken to get all the red tape cleared?
Its taken about seven months - from early November, last year.
If you were to do the whole thing again,
would you do it any differently?
Possibly, but I still would have went ahead and built the park without
permission. I wouldnt have waited for permission before I
Did doing that slow down getting the planning
No, the council just dont seem to see it from the skater/BMXer
point of view. They want to dot the Is and cross the Ts
before they do anything. Theyre not in a hurry. Everybody
wants a park now, not in two years time. So its more important
to get the park up and running and get a facility for people to
use, than it is to wait for red tape to get sorted out.
But all the legal gubbins are sorted now?
Aye, everythings sorted now. Were waiting on two things
that should be taken care of in the next couple of days.
What have you learnt through building the park?
Oh, lots of things [laughs]. Ive learnt that there are a lot
of people that are willing to give their time and energy and knowledge
for free to get somewhere to ride, just because of the drastic lack
of facilities in Scotland. Its shocking.
Would you have built the park if your kids werent
so into riding and skating?
There possibly wouldnt have been as much of an incentive to
build the park, but from a business point of view, being in business
for a long time and the adage supply and demand - well
the demands phenomenal and theres no supply for a skatepark.
So maybe, from a business point of view, I would have still gone
ahead and done it, but I wouldnt have had the kids harpin
on at me [laughs]. Thats what kind of pushed us to do this
and I could see that there was an opportunity there if there was
a good enough facility provided. So it maybe would have taken a
bit longer, but as you know, I ride BMX anyway, so it still gives
you somewhere to go.
So do you have a personal history in bikes and
I skateboarded in the 70s, when skateboarding first came to
Britain, then moved into BMX in, I think, 1980 or something like
that. But Ive always been into bikes, and its not just
BMX, if youre on a bike then youre on a bike. To me
thats the point - whether its downhill or cross country
- as long as youre out on your bike, thats the thing.
Could you tell us about Chaz and Connors
(Chicks lads) attempt at booking a holiday to Woodward (a
huge skatepark wonderland type summer camp in the US)?
[laughs] Aye, thats true - I caught the two of them on the
internet, sorting out a holiday with my credit card to try and get
to Woodward for a fortnight. I think the youngest one would have
been about eight or nine, and the oldest would have been eleven
or twelve. So aye, its a bit of a wake up call when you get