Concrete Dinosaurs Part 3 – Livingston Skatepark
It was a no-brainer that the third and final destination on this Concrete Dinosaurs odyssey would be the jewel in the crown, and oldest of all Scotland’s celebrated parks, namely the mighty Livingston Skatepark which sits between the River Almond and what used to be the infamous Club Earth.
The seed of what became Livi skatepark was originally planted in 1976 after local hero Kenny Omond took a business trip to California and saw the skateparks that were being built in the sunshine state during the original 1970’s skateboard boom that was in full swing at the time.
Kenny returned to Livingston with a single-minded vision to convince the Livingston Development Corporation (LDC) to build something on a similar scale in Livingston.
Happily, thanks to the immediate and wholehearted support of prominent LDC architect Iain Urquart and his wife Dee, Kenny’s vision was welcomed, and construction of the original skatepark layout, (the downhill halfpipe that leads into the mellow banked bowl section with the back wall and the infamous bowl) was completed in 1980, leaving Livi in a unique position as the one concrete park in the UK designed and conceived in the 1970’s but actually completed in the following decade.
With inspiration for the original Livi drawn from existing 70’s parks like the long-demolished Andover skatepark in Hampshire (hence the ‘Andover’ at the end of the halfpipe), and the double bowl inspired by the Californian Marina Del Ray skatepark, Livingston’s vintage as a product of its era is unparalleled before or since.
Subsequent developments saw the mini section at the top, (or the ‘English section’ as it’s jokingly referred to by some of the locals) added roughly a decade after the original park was built, with the latest (and somewhat controversial) third section with fullpipe and deep bowl complex built on what had previously been a go-kart track around 2014. If you’re interested in hearing more from Kenny Omond on the history of Livingston Skatepark, you could do worse and read our Carved in Stone feature that originally came out in issue 84 of Sidewalk back in 2003.
The Concrete Dinosaurs Part 3 – Livingston Skatepark mission saw the cross-country journey come to end with an epic session involving the road crew, plus a host of Scottish rippers who turned out despite the omnipresent threat of rain to get involved in two days of straight forward concrete carnage.
Huge thanks to Raven Tershy, Rune Glifberg, Ben Hatchell and Sam Beckett for being down to shred whatever was put in front of them after excessive road hours, to Creasey, Tom Mangham and all at Monster Energy for making this happen and to all the skaters we met along the way.
Let’s do it again next year!
Peep Parts 1 & 2 of Concrete Dinosaurs here.