“I moved to Leeds in 2011 and one of the fucking reasons I moved here was because of Needleside,” explains Death Skateboards rider, and recent addition to the Welcome shop team, Sam ‘Blinky’ Hutchinson.
“Needleside was Roz, Parffit, the LxBxP dudes. They’re still building now. They just built a little brick quarter over there. Roz is currently spraying it up with lacquer,” adds Blinky, pointing to a two-feet-tall transition made of bricks which he was floating backside airs out of an hour earlier.
After seven years, and gaining a reputation of as one of the UK’s most well-known DIY spots, Needleside was demolished in 2016. However, towards the end of Needleside’s lifespan, another DIY build began to take shape on the outskirts of Headingley known by locals as ‘The Joint’.
“Liam [Matthews] from Eagulls built the first little wallride and then we ended up building more on that. Pat Godbert was a big contributor too. That was an older crew as well because I was still pretty young when that was being built,” says Blinky.
“The Joint was our first little baby. That was there for three years – of building and skating it overall – but with two years of building. I remember as The Joint was getting knocked down me and Gary Giomarelli took loads of photos and tried to make a little project out of documenting it. The people who knocked down The Joint were gutted to knock it down. They were really cool because they saved loads of the stuff.
“Before it was fully bulldozed, Vince [Orr] and Gary G found The Dustbowl site. We all fucking hated that at first. The Dustbowl was our main spot for another three years, it got knocked down and within months we found this place which has been going for about a year and half now. The ground was shit at first. We’ve done more clearing up and sweeping than building,” explains Blinky, amused that the amount of landscape gardening which goes into a DIY skate spot is probably overlooked.