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Lock gates and skates in riverside park

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:33 03 March 2010

AMONG the ramps and jumps taking shape on the outskirts of Ipswich town centre a much older structure can be found resting among the new concrete.

Lifted from the river in the 1930s part of the old lock gates is positioned alongside the river walk in the shadow of the new skatepark which is due to open later this month.

AMONG the ramps and jumps taking shape on the outskirts of Ipswich town centre a much older structure can be found resting among the new concrete.

Lifted from the river in the 1930s part of the old lock gates is positioned alongside the river walk in the shadow of the new skatepark which is due to open later this month.

The huge wooden gates are set to feature as part of the landscaping round the new park which is eagerly anticipated by the town's skaters and bikers.

Work started on the Ipswich BMX and skateboard park in Bridge Park, Grafton Way, earlier this year and is due to be completed in time for its official opening on March 24.

Until now skateboarders, in-line skaters and BMX riders have had little option but to practise their sport in the streets around Ipswich. The nearest purpose built parks are in Norwich and Bury St Edmunds.

Some people have already been using the park, which is still under construction, but the Ipswich Skatepark Appeal, set up three years ago to campaign for the site in the town, has asked everyone to stay off it until its official opening.

The message, via its website, also warns that those who are using the ramps and jumps already may be delaying the completion as the cement is still drying. As such the ramps could be pushed out of place and require repairing before the site can be opened to the public.

The new park, which has cost £167,000, has been developed with funding from a number of organisations and a public appeal organised by the Ipswich Skatepark Appeal.

Among its supporters is Newcastle United and England football star, Kieron Dyer, and almost £90,000 came in the form of a sports grant from the National Lottery.

The park will be open to all skateboarders, in-line skaters and BMX riders and will be mainly unsupervised. However, Ipswich Skateboard Club will be organising special sessions for its members and regular training evenings and taster sessions for non-members to try their hand at the fast growing sport.

n The park will be officially opened at 11.30am on March 24 with a demonstration by some of the town's top skaters and BMX riders before it opens to the public at 12.30pm.

Weblink: www.ipswichskatepark.co.uk


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