The Westway Development Trust are seeking planning permission to turn the area the skatepark is situated, under the A40, into a garden centre and office space. Their reasoning behind this – “The Skatepark does not serve needs of the local youths”.
The Baysixty6 skatepark has served the BMX community for a very long time and is still the home for many riders. Check out the Park Warden we did at the London based skatepark, back in March 2008, and be sure to sign the petition/ follow them on Facebook to help save the 13+ year old skatepark.
Words by John Dye
PlayStation Skatepark (as Bay66 was called) opened in the summer of ’97, and I remember going to have a look at the place and thinking how shit the street course was; there were just some free standing quarterpipes about five feet high and a few little grind blocks – it was really lame, and I recall thinking ‘at least we ain’t missing much.’
Because back then we weren’t allowed to ride there at all, and for the first few months it was completely bike-free; this was when the inline craze was booming, they had a strict no-bikes policy that summer and it wasn’t until the winter that they allowed bikes in for one night a week – on Tuesday nights. It wasn’t just bikes though, you were also allowed to skate or inline on bike night, and that used to really piss the BMX crowd off! But word soon went round that there was a session there and people from all over London used to hit up the place for the regular Tuesday night session. The street course got a little better and gradually things started coming around to the point where you were allowed to ride any day there, but only on the street course – you could still only ride the vert or the mini on Tuesday, which later turned into Sunday nights as well.
PlayStation became a bit of a stop on many a bike tour back then, with US and Euro pros often showing up for a Tuesday session – Rooftop, Joe Rich, Robbie Morales and Brian Castillo all turned up one night to shred after a Bike Show weekend. This place ended up getting its fair share of coverage back then too; it was all over a lot of magazines and videos, there was even a T1 advert shot at PlayStation one time. Personally, I think the mini was and still is awesome; the mini has vert extensions and is plenty wide and steep, so it made for a good time and it was the sessions there that I remember most – Birdman, Stuart King, Jerry Galley, Joe Fox, James Hitchcox, Matt Jenkins, Nick the Greek, Scott Malyon, Lemsip and whole bunch of others all frequented the mini on various Tuesday nights, with visits from many a well known name from around the south on a regular basis. One time I was there and Fids hit the roof on the lower side of the mini – the dumbass was airing high in the corner – he dropped like a stone, but got up to cackle about it like only he could.
The vert ramp was a little on the small side for a vert ramp, but people still blasted out of it. Stuart King and Jerry Galley pretty much owned the vert, there were other guys who hit the vert too, but those two guys were the ones I remember going highest. The surrounding area of PlayStation leaves a lot to be desired, plenty a bike has been stolen at knife-point from the place, and one night we came out to put our bikes in cars and there were a bunch of youths waiting with iron bars near our cars. I have no clue who frequents the place nowadays, but we certainly had good times there.