The day these photos were taken, Simon Lyddiard set out to skate a rail at the top of Newcastle. Not only is the rail high and round with a hill bomb for a landing, it also happens to be on the same block as the police station.
When Simon was warming up, an elderly man came out of the house across the road and accused us of filming his house. He called the police (who were literally a sixty second walk away) and told them that not only had we been filming his house, we had vandalised it too.
One of Simon’s friends, Pat, asked him how we’d damaged his property.
“See that?! You put those marks on my wall with your bloody skateboards!” The flustered old man bellowed, pointing to a concrete wall that ran the perimeter of his property.
Pat, an engineer, went closer to investigate and told him that the brown rust coloured cracks in the wall were concrete cancer. The old nut scoffed at the possibility of Pat being an engineer and said that he looked more like a criminal.
The police arrived, not caring much for our side of the story. Instead they started to lecture us about our presence being perceived as intimidation. Luckily for us, a local resident walking her dog intervened and told the police that she’d been watching the entire turn of events. She said that it was nice to see young people doing something constructive.
The police crossed the road to speak to the old man, but stopped in the middle to chat with an off-duty colleague that had knocked off for the day and happened to be driving past. Simon took the opportunity to grind the rail and was already bombing the hill before the officers could turn around. The old man went inside, disgruntled that his plan to spoil our fun had backfired.
Thanks to the lady and her dog that stuck up for us. It’s nice to know that the community has our back sometimes.