MK Skate tells the story of Milton Keynes’ skateboarders – from the early pioneers to modern day Olympic-hopefuls.
"The skaters from here have always been sort of pioneers of a very particular technical type of skateboarding because the architecture of Milton Keynes lends itself to doing that." Ben Powell
Milton Keynes has played a seminal role in the development of UK skateboarding culture. During the late 1980s and early 1990s it was the skateboarding capital of the UK and is still regarded by some as the lead city for street skating. In 2005 it developed and opened Europe’s first skate plaza, The Buszy. It is an important story which until now has remained unrecorded and largely unknown outside of the skate community. MK Skate has revealed this hidden history through a series of exhibitions, events, films, city trails and ultimately - a book.
MK Skate is a lottery funded heritage programme working with the skateboarding community of Milton Keynes to capture and tell the city’s unique skate story. Starting in the 1970s, and coming right up to the present day (2020) the project looked at the impact the city’s modernist architecture has had on developing pioneering UK skate talent such as Rob Selley, Sean Smith, James Bush, Zeta Rush, and now Olympic hopeful, Alex deCunha. The story has been documented over the years by leading skate photographers Wig Worland and Leo Sharp, themselves from Milton Keynes, as well as by Sidewalk Magazine journalists Ben Powell and Ryan Gray, and filmmaker, Lindsay Knight; all their work featured throughout the project.
“Skateboarders don’t skate terrain, they skate rules. They break rules. It’s all about rule breaking, so if you put rules in you’re actually making it worse.” Lindsay Knight