Photography by Gareth Morton AKA Stig - www.mrstigphotography.com / @garethmorton
Video by Thomas Sharman - www.tomsharmanvideo.com / @tomsharmanvideo
Word by Leon Humphries - @cheersgod
Event by - @capitalrollas @birdseyeview @j.p_harris
The second London street jam took place in mid August. Despite the overwhelming responsibilities of adult life, Blake Bird and Jamie Harris organised this day for everyone to enjoy.
The event is in a rather strange area of London. The Thames path in Woolwich is bereft of any discernable character. Apart from the river itself, there is very little to identify London there. It is industrial and suburban at the same time. The distant skyline of Canary Wharf dominates the view looking west.
It is striking how large London is. As you gaze out towards that view, up the river, a reflection takes place. Thousands of sessions over time in the ever changing metropolis and suburban terrain. Whatever this area was missing in terms of a classic London image and 'character' was made up by the presence of the attendees. Lots of joking, conversations and fluid socialising made sure the day was enjoyed by all. It was especially heart warming to see friends of our bring their young children to the event, some of which had their own tiny skates on!
The spots used for the event were in part makeshift. Blake & Jamie worked on some additions that they constructed. Plastic copings and boxes were used to provide the riders with objects to grind. The final spot has a natural bank to rail or long rail to bank. The spots were encouraging for the riders. This was not an event that beckoned suicide attempts. Riders had a lot of fun skating with each other. Riders of all abilities joined in, smiling and working hard to skate well. This was a 'jam'.
The event was won by Jo Zenk. He travelled from Germany to be with us on this day. His versatile skill set and boundless energy was more than enough to secure the top spot. His assimilation to his surroundings and energy shared with his counterparts was appreciated. Dinosaurs like myself and Andy Spary somehow shuffled onto the podium alongside him.
The event wouldn't have been as successful had sponsors not provided prizes and cash for the best performers. There was also a raffle, among peripherals such as wax and stickers, the annual Gawds hat was also up for grabs. There seems to be some gravitational force between Gawds hats and Matt Chilvers. Last year he won the bucket hat, this year he takes the baseball cap. A third year in a row would certainly raise suspicions of brown envelopes being passed around behind the scenes.
The resources within the London skate community never cease to provide. The after party was accommodated by our close pal Luciano Moreira. He runs the Garden Bar in Elephant and Castle. Most of the group travelled across London to relax and socialise after the success of the event. Thanks to everyone involved in this day. It was a pleasure to be a part of a true community event.