Interview with Richard Ferrington
Richard came to Milton Keynes around 1988 when he worked for Buckinghamshire County Council, working with existing and designing new schools. He transferred to Milton Keynes Council in 1997 and worked for the Development and Design Department which had the task of working on the infrastructure of the City Centre as part of the redevelopment programme. One of the issues that Richard was tasked to deal with was skateboarding.
At the time of Richards involvement with the Council, landowners were asking the police to criminalise skateboarders. But the police could not do so, on the grounds that the damage caused by skateboarding was not considered criminal damage as it was unintentional. It was decided that a consensus needed to be held to determine the wishes of the community, businesses, landowners and the skateboarders themselves. A big consultation was held at Xscape. The Bus Station became a place for skateboarders to skate without complaint from others. It was owned by English Partnerships, and they were happy for skateboarders to use it. It was ideal because it was a good location with transport links and a place skateboarders were naturally drawn to anyway. A number of blocks were added to the space, a grind rail, steps and the famous T-block. The skateboarders wanted it to be authentic and look authentic. These additions reflected the other best spots in Milton Keynes and from around the world.
Richard explains his previous involvement with Milton Keynes Youth Offending Team. He learnt how people can be tarred with the same brush. But his opinion at the time, and still remains, that there is a real skateboarding community. Richard hopes that the skateboarding heritage in Milton Keynes will continue. He says that places like ’The Buszy’ is deteriorating, which should be preserved because it was the first skateboard plaza to be known globally.