A new documentary invites us into the history of the iconic skatepark Livi and into the lives of 6 year old Poppie, Rudi and Mac, ready to take the spot as the next generation of skaters.
Livingston skatepark in Scotland is famous around the world, known for its grit and grain, it’s cracks, and curves. But back in 1981, when it was first built, the park was shiny and new, and attracted visitors from all over the world, including Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero.
The scene was thriving and thousands would turn up for pro skaters demos. It’s been over 40 years, and over time the original sections of the park have begun to crumble, with some skaters claiming it to be more legit, whilst others avoiding it completely. A new documentary by Parisa Urquhart and Ling Lee, ‘Long Live Livi’ dives into the history and making of the park and introduces us to a new crew of skaters trying to reinvigorate it and bring it back to its glory days.
Parisa only found out two years ago that it was her uncle Iain alongside his wife Dee (a keen skater in the 70’s) who had made the park happen. They were pivotal in the Scottish skate scene and traveled to California to research parks and make connections with the pros before the building began. They created something really special at Livi, something which the younger generation now wants to care for.
The Snagglerats, Poppie, Rudi, and Mac, may only be six or seven years old, but they are proving that the park could do with a bit of love. They are learning to skate at Livi, despite the obstacles of cracks and pebbles adding to their fear. They drop in, they hit the bowl and they love it, but they also want more girls and boys to take up skating and care for the parks. The documentary follows the story of these three local ambitious girls, and their inspiring mums Kerry and Romany, who are a major support of them skating (driving them all over Scotland!).
“I love making friends who support me and encourage me. When I’m skateboarding I feel like I fit in.” – Poppie
Director Parisa was on a trip to Livi when she randomly bumped into Kerry and Romany and was inspired by their mission and encouragement of their girls to skate. In the film you see the Snagglerats discover Livi’s unique history with the help of old school skaters, amazing 8mm archive footage, old skate magazines, and photos. They also get an unexpected virtual chat with Tony Hawk who reminisces about his visit to legendary Livi and says of the time: “Scotland had one of the few skate scenes in Europe”.
“We love the friendship it brings from all sorts of people, being outside and being able to challenge ourselves. We love how much support we get from others” – Rudi
That may not be true anymore, with skating thriving worldwide, but the scene Scotland has is very special, including what the Snagglerats have brought to it and will continue to bring (await the Livingston fundraising campaign kicking off tonight!). The documentary, broadcast this Thursday on BBC Scotland and BBC iPlayer, will remind many locals of Livi, or introduce it to people for the first time, but also it will show an inspiring crew of badass girls and ladies who are doing their thing, to benefit their local community and beyond.