Photographers Stories 2013 – Leo Sharp.

Dave Snaddon, 360 flip.

The location of these planes can, alas, not be given up. A friend found them on the internet a couple of years ago, so a weekend drive was taken, followed by a walk around the fields for an hour, culminating in the sighting of a cluster of hulking fuselages. Behind a facade of ‘No Entry’ and ‘Private Land’ signs lay a graveyard of broken military flying machines. Our excitement was palpable; these things could actually be skated! But we were soon subdued by the sight of the police car patrolling in the distance. All thoughts of skateboarding on planes were put to the back of minds. As if to consolidate this, it immediately pissed it down and we were left contemplating our folly from under a hedgerow.

Fast-forward to 2013.

Through various Falmouth University links with the MOD, photography students are to be allowed access to the planes to shoot degree work! I pulled a few strings and managed to get Dave Snaddon, Jody Smith and Dylan Hughes access to be used as ‘models’. The boys brought their boards with them as ‘props’ for a fashion shoot, but whist pouting and throwing blue steel for the camera they threw tentative glances at rough surfaces and potential lines.

“Will that wing slide and grind?”

“Could you roll on that nose cone?”

Our accompanying MOD officer eventually went off for a cheeky cigarette and it was game on for a skate. We skated the wing of one old World War One bomber. Dylan bagged a back smith and Jody a switch crook. Dave rolled up the other wing and snapped a backside flip but our overseer returned and put a stop to the skating. To our surprise, although he said we couldn’t skate the bomber as ‘the wing was too unstable’; he suggested we skate the Harrier Jets round the corner! Before you could say ‘Lyme Regis’, Snads was straight up on top of the cockpit and popping tweaked ollies into the wing. As the skies began to darken, Dave put down a treflip and dropped off the end of the wing onto the crusty tarmac. Thanks to DC shoes and Falmouth University’s Fashion Photography course for making the day possible. I doubt skating will ever be legally allowed on MOD land, let alone its vehicles again.


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