Interview with James Jessop
James bought his first skateboard in 1983 for £1 and describes his first experience of the skate park at Knebworth amusement park where he was mind blown by the noises that skating made. From then onwards, whenever he attended birthday parties at Knebworth, he would ask to go to the skate park. It was on James’ thirteenth birthday when he used his first big skateboard and skateboarded Milton Keynes. It was when he was fourteen that he got what he describes as a ’proper’ board and became really immersed in skateboarding. From 1988 onwards, James regularly came to Milton Keynes to skateboard.
Before he found his love for skateboarding, James was creative through street art, BMX’ing and break dancing. But it was skateboarding and art which continued to be the two constant forms of creativeness in James life. James got an A in Art GCSE, he then studied Art and Design at College. He attended Coventry University for a short while when he realised he could attend the Royal College of Art. He continued to skateboard around studying and working, until he snapped his cruciate ligament and had to have a break from skateboarding for four years.
James describes how the architecture of Milton Keynes ’almost like it was built for street skating’. He says that one of the best spots is ‘The Beige’ (centre of the business district). He gives details about the things he would do to help reclaim spaces when skaters faced adversity. He compares himself to the skaters he came across; he says he had a lack of natural talent but was always determined. James feels as though ’every day he skates’, it is a ‘great adventure, as it is always good in a different way’.