Winstan Whitter has uploaded the full London Calling 70s Skateboarding Forum from back in August, which saw the pioneers of U.K. skateboarding reunited on stage, and given a platform from which they could relive memories, share stories and answer questions from the adoring capacity crowd that packed out the UCL hall.
Watch on below as the likes of Jeremy Henderson, John Sablosky, Marc Sinclair, Alex Turnbull, Kadir Guirey, Ben Lidell, Simon Napper, Sheenagh Burdell and Mark Baker (via Zoom from his home in Bali, occassionally with Steve Olson in tow) discuss the U.K. scene during the all important days of the late 70s, joined in the second half by legendary SkateBoarder Magazine photographer James Cassimus, and Tony Alva.
Be sure to pick up a copy of Issue 12 to enjoy our full coverage from the London Calling weekender, head on over to the London Calling stores to snap up any of the remaining merch, and scroll below for a selection of quotes from many of those present!
70s Skateboard Forum photography: Rob Whiston
so jeremy wasn't just spinning yarns for the last 30 years??... my mind was blown!
the character and quality of the photos, the skating, the spots, what a story they tell! and the clear love and admiration that went into putting all of this together to give a proper glimpse into the 70's uk skate scene. I can't thank everyone involved enough for sharing this with the skate world. Maybe you thought only great music came out of England during the thatcher era, but there was skateboarding, right in the thick of it as well. L.S.D. LIVES
The London Calling event was amazing. I did not realize how deep-rooted skateboarding was in the UK in the '70s; amazing to see I learnt a lot.
It was great to see all the original UK skate pioneers back together for this long-overdue celebration and recognition of the powerful '70s British skate scene! What a weekend!
Those four days were overwhelming. The scale and impact of it was huge. People like Henderson, Sablosky, Sinclair, Harding and Napper were my heroes. They were the people who taught me.
I had a big Sablosky at Skate City poster on my wall for years. So for me it was a massive stoke to meet those people again.
Gusts of Comradz in Motion ..like a Storm From Our Passed in Gathered Ways Nobody Could Have Predicted Such an Event to Wind Up A Birthday for Marc Sinclair , the First Tom Penny ever A Classic Glance@Londons’Never Forgotten Sk8~Soul, What A Gift to Even See Him Made The Whole Ting Irie for Me Major Efforts were made To Truly Benefit Many…
Watching skateboarders from the '70s step into the Pure Evil Gallery for the first time to see the London Calling! (time machine) exhibition and seeing their faces light up, was dynamite, man!
It was incredible to see so many old friends after all these years, but my most enduring memory has to be Sean Goff standing up, nearly in tears, thanking us all. For four decades we’ve been all but invisible so it was beautiful for all these guys to finally get some acknowledgement and recognition. Big shout to Steve, Bod and Dan.
Skateboarding is always progressing. Faster, longer, more technical or simply expanding your horizons with new spots and ways to look at your surroundings. Constantly looking ahead, which is great, but… The most important part for me - and I believe many others - are the friendships, the community. Life long bonds with people whose paths would not have crossed without this thing. London Calling exemplified this spirit. The 10-12 year old in me was mind-blown to meet these innovators and pioneers. Generations apart but exactly as I’d hoped. To watch this crew reunite and see the energy was something I can’t put into words. To revisit what they created/achieved through the images and stories that were shared got me thinking: progression can go both ways. Looking ahead, or taking a moment to look back and appreciate where things came from. We can all learn a lot from our roots.
At London Calling there were certainly a few wonderfully 'wow' moments; reconnecting with all those skaters again after about 45 years was amazing. Such a disparate and eclectic bunch of characters all sharing one overwhelming passion for a few short years in one not-so-small town brought back together in a bundle of nostalgia and unreliable memories was surprisingly emotional. It's tempting to get a bit clichéd and philosophical about such events and to reflect on the optimism and naivety of youth contrasted with the reality and cynicism of age but I choose to simplify such thoughts into: 'Nostalgia 'ain't what it used to be’.
The London Calling event, which took place over four incredible days, was an amazing celebration of the genesis and evolution of British skateboarding and a unique opportunity to rekindle old friendships and generate new ones, brought together by a shared love and passion for the greatest sport on earth.
My favorite was hanging a bit with the old crew and, and realizing how that unique combination of personalities was the recipe for a singularly dynamic and inspiring period in British skate history. Second would be the heartwarming group hug with Steve Douglas and several bouncers outside The Crown and Stars at 2am.
There is only one thing worse than being talked about that is not being talked about. London Calling started the conversation about the roots of the incredible UK skate scene.
Seeing these legendary skateboarders meet each other again after - in many cases - more than forty years was incredible. People who'd skated together as teenagers and shared space in the magazines of the time, but fell out of touch when skateboarding suddenly dipped, all getting together in one room was really special. Having them all reflect on the massive changes that happened in their lives and in skateboarding back then was pretty inspirational.
Neil Macdonald (@scienceversuslife)
UK skate legend Sean Goff at the forum, summing up how younger skaters gave thanks and kudos to the 1970s pioneers. “If it hadn’t been for you guys, I wouldn’t have been a skateboarder, I wouldn’t have had my career. I owe my whole life to you.” Sean nearly cried, and so did we all.
The London calling event was like being woken up from a 45 year old skateboard dream... And then realizing it all actually happened.
At the London Calling art gallery opening, one old school skater after another continued arriving. We were all so blown away to see each other. There was a feeling of gratitude and love for how fortunate we all were to have shared those incredible days in the '70s and how amazing it was to have such a cool number of London Calling events organised to enjoy together.
One of my favourite parts of London Calling was finally achieving my ambition of becoming a member of the Benjyboard team! I wrote to Ben Howard asking if I could join when I was 13, and he said no!
To reconnect with all the friends, who were the early London/UK skate scene and to see all those incredible images of our younger selves spread out on the walls of the gallery was a truly beautiful thing. The love shown to us all at the forum was very humbling and special. Thank you London Calling.
The surprise 60th birthday for Marc Sinclair. We made a cake with Jeff Grosso's - RIP - favorite photo of that fakie ollie, and Bod gave Marc the cake. The '80s generation thanking the '70s skaters, this what it was all about in a nutshell. Respect to the guys and girls that laid the foundation of the UK skate scene, that I - and many others - believe is the best and most influential skate scene outside of California.
Being able to meet and pay homage to the legends that inspired me - and millions of others - to pick up a skateboard was one of the most meaningful weekends of my life. An emotional few days of seeing friends reunited for the first time in over 45 years, and for the next generation of skateboarders to be able to thank the legends that changed our lives forever will go down as the most important get-togethers in skate history.
It blew my mind what happened in London for those four amazing days. The opening event was an incredible gathering, and reconnecting of people. So many unbelievable stories were told at the summit day and bringing Tony Alva to this event added ten times the stories for all. Seeing the old skaters back together, skating at Southbank, was so rad and then seeing Devo with all was the cherry on top.
Steve Van Doren
Seeing Sean Goff stand up and say, "If it weren't for you guys and girls, I wouldn't have had the wonderful life skateboarding has given me"... It was so emotionally charged the audience raised the roof with the loudest claps, cheers and tears.
These guys were the kids whose photos were plastered all over my bedroom wall. They inspired me. They made me want to skate better, and it was that drive that pushed me to become a professional skater, and in turn gave me the adventures and life I have. As people, small things we do can leave such a lasting impact on others. At the London Calling event I got to thank those skaters for that positive impact they had on me, and the impact that generation of skaters made in the UK, which still resonates now.