Interview with John Aldridge
John first encountered skateboarding at the Bus Station in Milton Keynes. He remembers looking eagerly on the bus whenever he went past and thinking it was really cool. John got his first skateboard when he was twelve or thirteen and remembers skateboarding in Bletchley. Johns parents were supportive of his hobby.
When the Bus Station opened it was a ’hot spot’; everyone would go there to skate, from all over the world. It was after a few years that John felt confident enough to skate in Milton Keynes; after he had built up a repertoire of tricks and was assured that he would not get in the way. John was part of the ’Elder Gate Crew’; a group of skateboarders from around Milton Keynes. He says that Milton Keynes is a great place to skateboard but people who always skateboarded in Milton Keynes struggled to skate anywhere else. John remembers his first time skateboarding the ditch at Caldecotte, but he said the bus station is where you would see lots of skate teams.
One skate team, Plan B, decided to host a competition at the Bus Station – ’big competition, big names, and yeah it was epic’. John also mentions the competition Game of Skate-run by Andy King and ’Go Skateboarding Day’. John comments on the tension between skateboarders and security guards. But, he assures that any actions towards the other party were ’harmless’.
John feels that the skateboarding community is ‘like a family’; he says that everybody is supportive, and its a great way to see people. He thinks its a good that skateboarding is now an Olympic spot as this means there will be more facilities and he hopes it will gain respect as a sport. He thinks that skateboarding is now less about achieving certain tricks, and more about finding obscure things to skate on. John continues to skateboard.