Source Park History


The Source park is a huge underground skatepark facility situated under the Seafront in the heart of Hastings. The Source Park is open to all ages and disciplines with specific sessions for BMX and Skateboards with mixed sessions open to all. The Source Park is also home to our new Shop - the biggest BMX/Skate shop in Europe.


   
 

 

THE BUILDING OF THE SOURCE PARK

The building of a new park in the center of Hastings was never going to be an easy or quick process. Especially when the building is underground, beneath a Seafront in an old derelict Victorian building. Easy it hasn’t been but it is open and ready to shred! 

The building itself is certainly a unique one and not completely straight forward to build a skatepark in.  The building First opened way back in 1876 ans was originally built as a Turkish Bath, a sort of Victorian leisure center if you will, where people of the time would go to have hot Sea water baths washed down with a cigarette or two in the smoking room (which is now the new Source shop). Since then the building has been a cinema, swimming pool and an ice rink (the part of the building where our Main Park is). The Ice Rink closed in the early 90’s and since then the whole place has lay derelict, hidden from view underground, right in the center of our hometown, Hastings.

Being no Strangers to quirky buildings, as our previous premises was an old Church, we approached Hastings Council and the Foreshore Trust about turning the whole building into a Skatepark complex which also houses a much larger Source shop. These things always take time but lots of meetings, fund-raising and hard work by everyone led to us opening the doors on February 13th 2016.

 

 

Being a derelict Victorian building underground it was never going to be as simple as dropping some ramps in.  The whole building needed a full renovation; there was no power, no plumbing and the whole thing leaked like a sieve. In fact the whole building was designed to leak to an extent, the entire basement was designed to flood as a stream runs through it from the cliff and once it gets to a certain level it gets pumped out to Sea – you can’t make this stuff up! However there is absolutely no question that it has all been worth it.

 
 
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THE MAIN PARK

The Main park is actually set inside of the old Victorian swimming pool. Before we could even begin to think about building ramps in here the whole floor needed to be lowered as the pool was covered to house the ice rink in the 80’s. Once the floor was lowered there was the small issue of somehow getting the pool dry. The pool was dis-used for decades was plagued with water which was running through the building from the cliff and eventually out to sea - not ideal for wooden ramps. After some serious drilling, plumbing and ingenious pumping the pool was dry enough for the ramps. Even getting the ramps into a subterranean building wasn’t straightforward - CNC’d to perfection by 9C ramps these were then lowered via a crane in sections through the hatch in the beach (Along with a London cab bizarrely enough).

 

 

 
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THE PLAZA

At the opposite end of the building is the Plaza. This was originally the ladies swimming pool in Victorian times and a Cinema for a little while. Best of all this was once a concrete bowl in the late 70’s for just a few months called the Concrete cave. If you visit the Plaza room you will see a picture of the Concrete cave on the wall by the foam pit roll in. As well as a new floor over the old swimming pool this room was plagued by a leaking roof and required plenty of work and clever solutions to get it dry.

 

 

 
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OUR SHOP AND THE CONTINUOUS PUMP
The remainder of the building was also no doddle to renovate. Our shop is situated in the old Victorian smoking lounge where the Victorians would relax with a cigarette or pipe after receiving their hot Turkish baths. This part of the building was suffering from years of neglect and was very wet. However the leaks in the roof were fixed (or in some cases diverted to the flooded basement - more on that later.) and we even managed to restore some of the Victorian features like the mosaic pillars and antique Brass hand rails.

The building is now open to the public and if you visit us you will be forgiven for not realising that the whole building is built over a lower floor which was designed to flood. Back in the Turkish bath days the Sea water was pumped in and heated by massive steam engines to fill the baths above - Those engines are still there! The basement now plays host to a stream which runs from the cliff through the building and is pumped out to Sea - That pump runs 24hours a day every single day.

   
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WE'RE OPEN

The Source Park opened it’s doors to the public on February 13th 2016 (See below for the video of that day). The Source would like to thank the following people and organisations for their unwavering support and hardwork to make the Source Park a reality.

Hastings Borough Council, The Foreshore Trust, East Sussex County Council, Coastal Communities Fund, Regional Growth Fund, University of Brighton, Colours, Penn Elcom, CB Electrical, Stamco, Saville Jones, St Leonards Glass, Dave Fuller Engineering and Jake Robbins Vintage Engineering.

Special thanks go to Piers Chapman and his crew from 9C ramps and Ben Newbold at Woodstock carpentry for making the ramps, shop and cafe as good as they are. And a massive thanks to Fids, Derek, Zammo, Ben Cochrane, Ben Winters, Mark Lamy, Quinn, The Barhams, Chris Wiseman, Jake Robbins, Dan Pearce, Russell Juby and Harvey Ells for the carpentry, plumbing, electrics and handy work. And everyone who pitched in and helped along the way of which there are too many to list here…

 
 
 

 

 

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