So what we going to do to ‘Save Our Skate Park’ – that cracking community asset that has once again, descended in decay and disrepair.
Its fate is very much on my mind lately as its one of the last chats our dearly-departed reporter Sharon and I had before her untimely death recently.
The Star reporter, as always wanted to cover the story sensitively, out of respect for Richard’s family, I was like a coiled spring ready to crack into campaigning mode to see the Skate Park saved.
We were both shocked that the nifty Knap site built in memory of Richard Taylor, the Welsh inline skating and freestyle skiing champion from Barry who died after a freak accident in 2004, is now a heart-breaking health and safety hazard in dire need of refurbishment and repair.
It has become dilapidated, dangerous, and faces disappearing from our town completely.
What a waste of one of the few perfect places for our young people to actually have something to do – keeping active and finding a focal point to meet their mates.
For me, it’s the perfect place for; would-be Sky Browns to show off their sharp skills, bold Barrians to feel optimistic about making their mark in this now Olympic sport, or just gives our racing residents, of any age, the chance to have some fun in the fresh air.
It also, I’m told, causes no chaos for nearby residents, is well-respected as a mark to Richard’s memory, and is much-used by skaters and spectators alike.
What’s not to love?
In fairness, a little Barry bird tells me that our local authority are keen to keep the Skate Park alive, and have met privately with Richard’s Family.
I also understand that Vale council’s ambition is to be able to beef up family funds raised by the family to bank roll the replacement of the existing Skate Park with a new concrete creation, similar to that seen at the recent Olympics.
Seems like a sensible solution but it needs our rallying residents to get behind the partnership plan, share the Save Our Skate Park campaign, and of course, put some cash into the coffers – however small.
In my view, we should dig deep to try to save the site, that honours a bold Barry lad who put our town on the map, and will provide a safe skate space for generations to come.
What do you think?
The Voice of Our Community
Sue Vincent-Jones, blogging as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and activist. She writes about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
Written exclusively for the Vale’s newest newspaper, and digital platform, The Glamorgan Star, her latest ‘Passing Comment’ column, an addition to the infamous Sue’s Views collection, can be found here.