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UK CitySlicker Dave: Scene Skate Shop, Preston

Scene is Preston’s first and only shop dedicated to skateboarding. It has been around for a long time and continues to give support to the local skate scene. I caught up with store founder and owner Davo to talk to him about the skate community in Preston

When did you first open Scene and what made you want to do so?

It was the 9th May ’97. I opened it because there was nowhere to buy skate gear from locally and it was a struggle to get stuff. There were some shops in Manchester but there wasn’t much choice.

Skaters tend to form their own small communities within their respective cities – how do you think Scene fits into the local skate community?

Its all in the name of the shop i guess. I think we give hope to the community and we try to get involved as much as possible.

Skating has gone through many changes in its time – from the neon and fishboards of the 70’s and 80’s to the baggy jeans of the Tony Hawk’s Game-inspired skaters of the 90’s and 00’s; and now to the skinny jean and slim Vans wearers of today – how has the store changed and adapted with the times since its opening?

We have always just listened to our consumers and kept a beady eye on the marketplace.
Back when I was skating in the 00’s Scene put a lot of hard work into petitioning the council for a skatepark in Preston. We never got one

Why do you think that was?

That’s still ongoing actually. There is just too much red tape – too many are people involved to just make one decision.

I believe there is now an indoor park on bond street not far from the train station – how is that to skate? Because, from what i’ve seen online, only BMX’ers and Scooters go there.

Its more designed for BMX’ers and Scooters. Whoever built it was clearly already influenced by whatever sport they did. It seems to be more a case of “some skaters may skate here” as opposed to “lets build a park suited to everyone”.

I remember when I used to skate, that skaters used to be roughly divided into two categories – those who loved big rails and stair sets and those who loved tech street skating. What is your personal preference?

I don’t really have a preference. What makes skating wholesome is the variety. Rails, ramps and street are great but being able to cruise a nice hill is amazing; it’s the essence of riding – the feeling you get.

What are your plans for the future of the store?

We want to continue to grow our online business and expand other areas of the shop, but make sure we keep to our roots.

What are your personal favourite local spots to skate?

One of my all time favourites has to be the motorway banks, they’re just steeped in history. They’ve been skated since the late 60’s!

Ok then, what is the best trick you have ever seen done on a Preston spot and what local skaters stick in your memory?

Thats a tough one… memorable I’d have to say Peter Steel ollieing off the PNE roof (that’s the roof over the entrance of Preston North Ends football stadium – google image it and check out how high it is). As for memorable skaters I’d have to say Danny Brady who now rides pro for Blueprint, Snowy who is now pro for Landscape and Ste Ro who rides for Heroin – they’re all great skaters from around our area.

How do non-skater members of the community react when they see you out so-called “destroying benches”?

I think skating is often misinterpreted. It is easy to see it as something negative rather than positive. But then you get the flip side of the coin – it comes into the limelight through computer games and such and then people ask you to do whatever it is they have just done on their game.

Preston is a relatively small city – how do you think the scene here compares with that of bigger cities in our area such as Manchester and Liverpool?

Its still strong. I think there are more pockets of skaters rather than factions right now. Preston has lots of small surrounding towns that draw people to us.

I have noticed over the past few years that some of the old spots have been skate proofed (egbricks on the Guild Hall banks). Do you think there is an increasingly negative reaction from local officials (eg Police and councils) with regards to skating locally?

I think as skating grows in popularity there will always be a negative aspect. There are lots of companies that approach councils with skate stopping schemes – its a business.

Ok, is there anything you would like to say?

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has supported us over the past 15 years, we couldn’t have done it without you!

So, if you’re ever in the Preston area pop into Scene – the staff are super friendly and will help you in any way they can.
Scene
47 Friargate,
Preston,
PR1 2AT

Or support them “online”: http://scenepreston.com

written by wilfbiffherb

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