Interview with Leo Sharp
Leo was introduced to skateboarding through friends at school. Leo lived in Pottersbury and first started skateboarding in a car park. Leo started to skateboard in Milton Keynes when he got his Rob Roskopp skateboard for his twelfth birthday in 1987. His favourite place to skate in Milton Keynes was the Bus Station, and his least favourite was ‘The Beige’ (centre of the business district) because people would hassle him for skating there. Leo believes that the location of Milton Keynes makes it different to anywhere else as you can leave the station and go straight to the bus station to skate.
Leo started to photograph skateboarding when he wanted to start documenting what he and his friends were doing. His photographs were first published in RAD Magazine in 1991, in an article about Milton Keynes. His photography helped to put Milton Keynes on the map in the skateboarding world. Leo believes that Milton Keynes has played ’a really significant role in the UK skate scene’. He explains that people from all over would come and skate in Milton Keynes because there were multiple places to skate with rails and steps. He thinks that Milton Keynes is still relevant now because it is still so progressive. When new features are added to the architecture of Milton Keynes, it is seen as a challenge to the skaters of Milton Keynes. That being said, Leo would like to see areas designated in Milton Keynes to ’weird and wonderful obstacles’, built out of granite or marble.
Leo likes the fact that skateboarding is like one big family. Leo concludes that skateboarding has given him friends and the life he has now; ‘it made me who I am today’.