Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London

28 November 2009

Watch the skaters at the Soutbank Centre's Undercroft

It's easy to assume that the skate boarders and BMX riders who hang out on the South Bank underneath Queen Elizabeth Hall are a relatively new phenomenon. A bunch of feral hoodie kids who are an absolute nuisance. In fact, skaters have been practising here since since the 1970s and it is acknowledged to be London's most distinctive and popular skateboarding area.

Known as The Undercroft, it was originally an architectual dead-spot which has become the home of British skateboarding.

When rumours circulated that the area had been scheduled to be converted into shops last year, a campaign was mounted, and a petition from the Prime Minister even prompted a statement from Number 10 Downing Street, confirming that "The Southbank Centre has said that it has no plans to redevelop the Undercroft used by skateboarders. In fact, they are in close discussions with the skateboarding community about how to improve the current skateboard area and about how the community might become more involved in the Southbank Centre’s artistic programme"

Even so, there is no way of knowing how long it will last. However, one thing is for sure. If you're an angst-ridden kid with low slung trousers, a battered skateboard and an interest in falling over and you're looking for somewhere to hang out this sunny Saturday, you could do a lot worse than head for the South Bank.

For more see an article in Cooler Magazine.

^Picture courtesy of Afreen Rahim^


  1. Your stereotyping of skateboarders and BMX riders is so hilariously far off the mark.

  2. Yeah, but I am trying to make it an interesting read you see...

  3. So it's OK to deliberately misrepresent your subject for the sake of making your article an 'interesting read'? You'd get on well at The Sun. Anyway, how does portraying skateboarders as you have make watching them seem like a more interesting pursuit than if you had portrayed them in a more positive light?

  4. Yeah, it's fine for me to do it.

    If you think about it you are stereotyping me as a wannabe Sun hack who doesn't know anything about skateboarders.

    Still, I'll let you off. It was a really interesting comment...

  5. I guess the humble, unassuming nature of BMX riders helps with the lack of placement in the history of The Undercroft. However, they've also always been there with the skaters. The key difference is, BMX wasn't as recognized or flamboyant in London at that time. They also should be noted, as they are also part of the scene. Skaters are awesome too, but they are not the only ones in the world to make spots awesome.

  6. What Bro-dude said...