I've been trying to find a way to get local skateboarders interested in the Watershed project - and to do a trip to the moors and do some writing about it - for months now. No joy. Very unsurprisingly, the guys want to stay right there and play with their brand new skatepark. So, I've been going to them - to see what it is about their completely artificial environment that they love so much, and to gather some of the wonderful names of all the skate moves and tricks to see if I can produce some poetry that captures the feel of the skatepark.
I've also been recording interviews with the skaters, and with some of the BMXers at the park, and I took Bill - my pal the BBC sound recordist - on my latest trip to see them last Friday.
It's pretty bloomin' intimidating for an ancient old woman like me to approach all these teenage lads having a great time clashing and spinning and zooming up and down all the concrete ramps, half-pipes, blocks and rails (see, I am getting some of the lingo!), but they have all been incredibly nice to me and very up for being interviewed about what makes them tick as skaters. They are a great bunch, and I look forward to capturing more of their thoughts over the next few weeks and stitching it into my wild moorland stuff - the interweaving of artificial environment with (allegedly) wild natural environment.
Bill captured loads of brilliant sound effects as some of the guys clattered to and fro doing their best tricks for us. And we also recorded masses of great comments from them - including that they loved going up on the moors only when the reservoirs were emptied for maintenance...cos the concrete spillways and the sloping faces of the dams made such fantastic skateparks!!
This really is some project - that has me working with such a huge range of people in such a variety of ways. I am loving it!
Char March - I'm a freelance writer and tutor. I am Writer-in-Residence for the Pennine Watershed Project, and this blog takes you through some of the work I've done in that role