William Sunderland and George Oliver

William Sunderland and George Oliver

Interviewed on 01.01.1970

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[TRACK 1]

 

AJ CREEDY:

We’ve got William and George who are local Hebden Bridge skaters; hi guys.

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Alright.

 

AJC:

How are you doing?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Not bad, just chilling on the park as always really.

 

AJC:

I know, it’s a wonderful day for it to be quite honest. So, what do you like about skateboarding you two?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

….I don’t know….I just like the feeling of like landing tricks, and I’ve been doing it for a while now, so….progressing and just chilling out with my mates really, cos we all do it together.

 

Yeah, basically mates really, cos we’ve got like a big friendship group and we all do it together and it’s just a good way of kind of self-expressing cos it’s all about kind of, it’s a personal thing, it’s just you doing it, it’s not like a team sport, so it’s just something for you to do, but….and then doing it with your friends is just as good.

 

There’s kind of like a little bit of friendly competition as well for like tricks and stuff. The first one to get a trick, and there’ll be the odd game with skaters all going down somewhere.

 

AJC:

It sounds good. So, what kind of skating do you both like best?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Well I usually stick to skate parks to be honest. I haven’t done stairs or anything like that in a while, but when the park gets extended, hopefully I’ll be jumping down the stairs. No street skating or anything.

 

I like it all to be honest, I respect every aspect and part of skating, like the vert skaters and stuff, you see the videos of what they’re doing

 

It’s just mental some of the stuff, there’s so many different variations.

 

And like street skaters is just as hard as what they’re doing. It’s unreal a lot of it. I try doing bits of all of it, try it all really.

 

AJC:

What skills do you think you need to be a good skater?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Balance…..

 

Co-ordination

 

Strong legs maybe. Mind you I haven’t got the strongest of legs to be honest.

 

No, I’d say the same to be honest.

 

It’s a lot to do with guts to be honest.

 

Having the kind of will to not mind putting yourself on the line. It’s the kind of determination of wanting to do it so much that you put yourself on the line. It is hard to do it, cos like you know, there’s been times when we’ve been in Leeds and stuff, skating stairs, I know I personally have rode up to a set of stairs countless times, not done it, just get to it and then think ‘I’m not doing that’ but then the determination makes you go back and try it again, then you get up to it and you don’t want to do it again

 

Nerves get the better of you sometimes

 

AJC:

It’s bound to do, I mean I’ve seen what some of you guys do, I mean when we were in Scotland, I mean it scared the hell out of me, and I was only filming, so yeah, I know exactly what you’re saying. So, what skate parks have you been to? I know I’ve just mentioned Scotland, there’s quite a few up there aren’t there?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Oh God, well yeah there’s Scotland; I’ve been down south once or twice, skated a few skate parks down there, and yeah well, they all stick to the same kind of rule but obviously a lot of parks have different flows and different obstacles to skate. I’ve lost count of how many skate parks I’ve been to now.

 

Yeah, it’s like we go to Leeds Hyde Park a lot don’t we really cos it’s good is Hyde cos it’s got everything – there’s like mini ramps and then big ramps and then blocks and rails, there’s pretty much everything there and it’s not too far away, but going down London’s quite good as well. There’s South Bank which is….I mean it’s good cos it’s more street than like a park, I mean it’s basically a street spot that’s just designed for skaters which is really good. It’s like, you don’t get kicked off or anything like that, it’s just for skaters and it’s like skating in the street which is really good. I’ve skated there a few times which is good.

 

I’ve never been to South Bank, but hopefully I’ll get the chance to go.

 

AJC:

So what about….which one would be your favourite then?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Well the skate park that I went to in Cornwall called Truro Skate Park

 

Oh yeah, Truro

 

That was a really nice skate park because it was like smooth and it flowed and it had a hell of a lot of variety, so….yeah, there was a lot of things to do….practising, there’s a lot of different stages, so if you learn a trick on something smaller you can take it up to something bigger and just go up basically.

 

I’d say for me Prissick Plaza, it’s just insane, it’s just got everything there

 

AJC:

Where’s that?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

It’s down Middlesbrough.

 

AJC:

I think you did well just pronouncing that.

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Is it Middlesbrough?

 

Yeah, Prissick’s in Middlesbrough and then there’s a skate plaza in Stoke as well

 

I think that’s the one I went to, I don’t think I went to Prissick then, I went to the one in Stoke cos it’s near to where my grandma lives. Maybe it wasn’t Prissick, but anyway whichever one it was

 

AJC:

It was good

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Yeah it was good

 

AJC:

What do you think to Hebden Bridge Skate Park then?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

…well, it’s a bit small, but you know, it’s got the stuff that you need to learn your basic tricks really, like the half pipe and the grind box and stuff. It’s got the basics but it just needs that kind of aspect of stepping up to bigger things to learn better things on bigger things as well.

 

Yeah, I mean, I do like Hebden Skate Park, I mean a lot of it’s to do with the people and stuff cos everyone’s really nice round here and it’s a good atmosphere

 

It’s a big community really and everyone knows each other

 

Yeah, all the obstacles are good, I mean they’ve got everything that you really skate in, well with skateboarding and stuff, but there’s just not varieties of the different obstacles, it’s just like the same, like you come down and you skate the same things cos there isn’t too much to do but it’s good….it’s good to skate.

 

AJC:

So if you were gonna pick just one good point about Hebden Bridge Skate Park, what would it be?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Well I like the grind box to be honest, I stick to that

 

Yeah the box, it’s a nice height and length

 

Probably cos it’s the smallest thing as well, so it doesn’t take as much like nerves to try

 

Yeah it’s good to learn

 

Probably the most womanly thing to be trying

 

AJC:

Most womanly thing to be trying – I like it!

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

It’s kind of like not too small, but when you skate that and you learn summat on there you can’t take it up to anything big, but it’s small enough to learn on then be able to do it on bigger stuff; it’s like the perfect height really.

 

AJC:

So do you think skateboarding should be an Olympic sport?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

I think it should be personally. I think it’s takes a lot of like practice and effort, probably just as much as the other Olympic sports, so yeah, why not?

 

I would say maybe not Olympic cos there are just skateboarding competitions that are extreme sports, like X games and stuff which I think is good because it’s like….you know, you just get extreme sports and I think it’s better that way. I don’t know that it should be an Olympic sport, but it’s definitely….it’s as good as any other sports in the Olympics, I’m not saying that, but I don’t think it should be included in the Olympic sports category if you get me.

 

AJC:

It might just make it too commercial and you’d end up witht people turning up with those strange horns like they do have in the World Cup at the moment, like a swarm of bees. You don’t want that do you?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

No, it’s good as it is now cos it’s an extreme sport, to kind of…….like competition, you still get just extreme sports fans, so it’s like still on its own

 

Well it’s got its own different like categories I suppose

 

Yeah, is it’s in its own little thing which is good. I think it’s better like that.

 

AJC:

Brilliant. So, I mean you’ve already said some of it, but is there a good skateboarding crowd would you say generally?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Yeah……depends where you go really, I mean I think Hebden’s got a great like skating community cos everyone knows each other and everyone just chills out really, it’s a relaxed place to skate.

 

Yeah, but if you’re going somewhere else like Leeds say, there’s a lot of different like people that…different groups of friends I’d say, whereas everyone at Hebden knows each other really.

 

Yeah. It’s never really been to a park where there’s been trouble or anything has there really? It’s like there’s different friendship groups, but because they’re all skaters they all get along, but you know, it’s not just that one big group

 

They’ve all got one thing in common so you can always guarantee friendship

 

Yeah it’s kind of like every skateboarder respects each other, even if they’re not friends they just respect the fact that they’re part of the skateboarding.

 

AJC:

Yeah, so as you go round would you say there’s any rules and conventions?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Not really, I mean….it’s like if you went to a skate park and you were like having a go at all the rest of the skaters, then they’d all as one like congregate against you because they’d all be on one side

 

That’s just like community spirit though, they’re just sticking up for each other

 

Then again there aren’t many skaters who would come and do that, because again, they respect each other so it’s a good sport

 

Most people get along

 

AJC:

So there’s a lot of respect.

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Yeah.

 

AJC:

So, famous skateboarders. Have you got any favourites?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

P-Rod.

 

Paul Rodriguez.

 

Mine and Will’s favourite.

 

Yeah, well there’s a lot.

 

Chris Cole….there’s like a few old skaters as well, and new skaters coming up every now and then that are very talented. It’s like you’ve got all the big name skateboarders that pretty much all skateboarders know about, like Paul Rodriguez and people like him, but then you get like just the amateurs, like even just Mike Wright, you know

 

Some of the amateurs that are just like…not as well known can just be as good

 

Yeah, they’re just as good but they’re not as well known, but we kind of know they’re just as good and it’s like

 

It’s just cos they haven’t got their name out yet and they don’t get board sales

 

Yeah it’s good looking….like watching the amateurs and comparing them to these like famous skaters, cos sometimes you see like an amateur will do a trick and you’ll think ‘I bet even Paul Rodriguez or someone wouldn’t be able to do that’ and it’s just good seeing that cos you think it’s good for him really.

 

AJC:

Fabulous. So, what other things do you both do apart from skating? And I know you do a lot of skating.

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

To be honest there isn’t much else. If I’m not here I’ll be sat at home either playing on a game or something, or on Facebook to be honest.

 

Yeah, well I’ve got quite a lot of other things that I do really

 

Well you play football and stuff

 

Yeah, football mainly and there’s like cricket and stuff, and I play the guitar, so it’s kind of a problem really for skating cos I just find it hard to put in the practice, you know, I won’t skate for like a couple of weeks cos I’m tied up with doing other things and I’ll come down and people will have like five new tricks, and I’m just ‘what – everyone’s just getting better’ so it is kind of good to see everyone getting better than me’ but it’s kind of a problem, it’s like if I didn’t have anything else to do and I just skated all the time I think I would probably be better at it, but

 

AJC:

Variety’s the spice of life evidently, so….unless you’re making a curry

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Well there’s a hell of a lot of variety in Hebden Bridge

 

AJC:

So, do you both have jobs?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

No

 

I was looking for one but it’s hard

 

AJC:

Everyone says that.

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

A job would be good if I got the chance

 

AJC:

I should start a little job centre because I’ve had the same answer from everybody so far [laughing]

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

I’ve been looking for one but….well, I say I’ve been looking for one, I’ve never actually gone in to a shop, but yeah, I do want one.

 

AJC:

But you’re still looking?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Yeah.

 

AJC:

Your eyes are open and there’s jobs out there, allegedly.

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Yeah, I just couldn’t be bothered to do them though really.

 

AJC:

I know what you’re saying.

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

I’m very lazy, I’ve got to say. At least I’m honest about it! [laughing]

 

AJC:

So, how often do you both skate and how long would you skate for in an average session?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Normally it would be about four hours a day. In the weekend maybe about seven or eight in the day.

 

Yeah it depends, I mean we’ve been to Leeds before and we’ve set off at like ten in the morning and then got back at like eight, nine, sometimes even later, so it just depends what the day’s like and what everyone’s feeling like. Usually on like a cold day, it’s never really the same kind of atmosphere. You get there and it’s a bit cold and it’s a bit dingy, and it’s not really the same as like a nice summer’s day in Leeds and yeah, if it’s a summer’s day I stay out all day pretty much, so it depends

 

AJC:

I think Damo was actually pushing for some floodlights, I think he actually had to go to bed though

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Yeah he wanted floodlights, cos it’s like school takes up most of the day, and like in winter, you get back from school at like four and then you come down, it’s dark by half six and it’s like ‘oh great, I haven’t had time to skate’ – that’s a bit annoying, so it would be good to have floodlights, very good

 

AJC:

See what we can do

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Hint, hint!

 

AJC:

You never know, you never know. So, what about music then? What kind of music do you like and skate videos as well; have you got any particular favourite skate videos?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Well I listen to a lot of hip hop, rap, the occasional rock, classic rock; I listen to a lot of music to be honest. Dubstep, drum and bass, all of them

 

Yeah I’m kind of the same really but I’d say if there was one favourite, it would be rock music and kind of indie rock music, but I do listen to like hip hop as well and other stuff. There’s some good hip hop that I really like and then yeah, there’s drum and bass which I quite like. It’s just….I don’t know, it’s things like…..like….don’t know….dance music I can’t stand cos it doesn’t have anything to it, it’s just like

 

AJC:

[incomp]

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Yeah, like hip hop and rock music, it actually takes talent to produce and compose and actually play, whereas dance music’s just…you sometimes find it’s some loser who’s on a computer, just putting loads of random sounds together.

 

The thing is a lot of like different variations of music you see in a lot of different like genres of skating, like you’ll get skaters that skate like just half pipes and like big old school bowls and stuff, and they’ll all listen to like the old music, like rock and stuff, and then all the new kind of street skaters will listen to like a bit of hip hop and a bit of rap, and it’s like

 

It kind of depends on what category of skating you’re in, but like I say cos I like to do quite a lot of it, it’s a lot of different music styles….yeah I just like anything that I can tell has taken a lot of talent to produce and it sounds good.

 

Skating and music just go together to be honest. There’s a lot of skating and music like collaborations you could say as well; a lot of music about skating.

 

It’s like the worst thing when someone just doesn’t like a song or something just because it doesn’t fall in to their favourite style of music, it’s just like can’t you just see that it’s good music

 

I mean even if you don’t like a certain style of music you’ve got to like respect the fact that someone else might and they’ve put a lot of effort to get the music – produced it

 

It takes talent, that’s the main thing

 

AJC:

Absolutely, and it fits skateboarding as well. What about videos then? Is there any particular favourite skateboard video?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

For me, definitely the DC video.

 

Oh that’s classic.

 

First time I watched that and I never got over how good it is – it’s amazing.

 

Consistency – in skate videos you see a lot of consistency.

 

I was going to say on the DC video it’s good cos there’s all the street skaters cos DC do a lot of street skaters, and then there’s a part at the end about Danny, a vert skater, and he breaks two world records or something, and they just show all these like helicopter clips of it, and it just merges into all this street skating and suddenly into this guy breaking like this jump record, and you just think ‘oh that’s totally different to what I’ve just seen’ – it’s amazing, it’s really good

 

AJC:

How high is that jump then?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

It’s like fifteen metres or something

 

It’s ramp to ramp though, it’s like a ramp down, ramp up, like a launch ramp and then a landing ramp and then a quarter pipe just to like soak up the speed that you get from the jump

 

It’s like fifteen metres high or something

 

Maybe not fifteen metres high…it’s like thirty metres long…it’s massive basically, I can’t remember the actual things

 

The thing about the DC video though is the fact that it kind of set the standard for skate films, like it was one of the first skate films of like technicolour street skating and like a mix of all different types of skating, and that kind of set the standard for other skate videos, and other skate videos generally just get better and better as years go on because people just progress. The next best thing would probably be Lakai Fully Flared, that’s the biggest thing that’s come out recently compared to the DC videos, so they’re probably the two favourites for me.

 

You see you get a lot of videos as well, like…videos that they don’t advertise as much that have a lot of different types of skating, like Heel Toe Magic which is like a British skating film and Mike’s in as well, he’s got a section, but they didn’t advertise it as much as they should have done, so it didn’t get out there as much but it’s a great skate film, so advertising as well – commercialism.

 

AJC:

Brilliant. So, what about yourselves? Have you got any footage on the internet?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Yeah I have; George has as well. Marcus does quite a lot of the filming for us because he’s into filming, so usually when we’re in Leeds and stuff he’ll take his camera and then if any of us do anything good, he’ll just say ‘oh do you want it filmed?’ and we’ll say ‘yeah’ so we just get clips together and then make little videos, and put them on You Tube and stuff.

 

AJC:

So is there a link for any of these clips?

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Yeah I’m sure there’ll be one on Marcus’s Facebook somewhere

 

They’re all on his You Tube channel

 

Yeah on his You Tube channel

 

Marcus Windrum Wheeler - check it out

 

Yeah, they’re usually just like five minute long videos of just like kind of recent stuff we’ve done, like putting it into like months and then it’ll be like five minutes long and then he’ll bring out another one in the next couple of months

 

I think he’s making a big one as well – like the end of his year he’s just gonna gather up all the footage from the year and just make each person a separate skate park so we’ll have a full length skate video probably by then

 

If it’s not too boring

 

AJC:

Well let’s hope somebody in the future when they’re being interviewed in a similar style to this expresses that video about to be made with you guys in it as their favourite video. It could happen. Thank you very much both of you

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

It’s alright.

 

AJC:

And, yeah, enjoy your skating and I’ll catch up with you soon.

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Thank you. Will do.

 

AJC:

Cheers guys.

 

WILLIAM AND GEORGE:

Cheers.

 

See you.

 

[END OF TRACK 1]

 

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Wild Rose Heritage and Arts is a community group which takes it's name from the area in which we are located - the valley ("den") of the wild rose ("Heb") -  Hebden Bridge which is in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

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