Skateboarding photos bring memories flooding back for readers

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There were mixed emotions when the family of Tina Liddle saw the photo of her on a skateboard in Time Of Our Lives last week.

The picture, taken in 1977, showed Tina, who was five at the time, on a skateboard built by her dad Richard.

Tina Liddle manages to keep her balance on a skateboard back in 1977.

Tina Liddle manages to keep her balance on a skateboard back in 1977.

Sadly, Tina died following an accident when she was just 27.

But her family, who had misplaced their copy of the photo, were delighted to see it again.

Tina’s brother, 50-year-old Karl, of Biscop Terrace, Jarrow said: “It’s a fantastic photograph, it brought back a lot of memories.

“I have a seven-year-old daughter now, and I was talking about that photo just a few days ago. It’s so much of a coincidence.

Lindsey Gray, left, and Michelle Smedley, both 14, were campaigning for a skateboard park in South Shields.

Lindsey Gray, left, and Michelle Smedley, both 14, were campaigning for a skateboard park in South Shields.

“I was with Tina when that photograph was taken. She was into everything like that, such as sledging. She had this ‘if you can do it, I can do it’ attitude.

“I remember going down that bank, how steep it was. That was our home in Lingside.

“Looking at that photograph now, it was like it was taken yesterday.

“It was uncanny seeing it again. It’s happy and sad, but more happy, remembering her how she was.”

Tina’s sister, Helen Roberts, 34, was also pleased to see the photo once more.

“I did a double take when I saw it,” said Helen.

“My mother had that photograph but it’s been misplaced for so many years, so it’s lovely to see it again.”

Helen said the picture brought back so many memories.

“Tina taught me how to skateboard when I was old enough.

“She taught me how to stand on it and balance, and how to move the wheels around corners, as well as a few tricks. Most of them were daredevil tricks.

“I did it for about a year, after that I gave it up because Tina was getting older. I wanted her to be there all the time, but she couldn’t be.

“Today, I am living just two or three streets away from where Tina was photographed skateboarding.”

Helen’s eldest son, who is 16, used to skateboard, but is now “more into football” while her 11-year-old son enjoys watching skateboarders on his iPad.

Although Helen hasn’t been on a skateboard for quite a few years, she is now planning to pull on roller skates, and who knows after that ... she may even go back to boarding!

Meanwhile, another photo on the same page also revived many memories for Michelle Robson.

The photo of Michelle (Smedley, as she was then) and her friend Lindsey Grey was taken in 1978 when the two of them were campaigning for a skateboard park in South Shields.

“We used to go skateboarding at Marine Park, but it was busy with families, and we were whizzing at great speed. All the skater kids went there, there was nowhere for us to go without upsetting the public.

“We decided to get up a petition, and we gathered in as many names as possible. And we did eventually get a park (opposite the health club, behind the town hall).

“They converted the area into a skateboard park and put ramps in it, but it didn’t last very long.

“We were very grateful for what they did, but it was far too small. We loved speed and it was more for people who liked tricks.”

Michelle, 51, who now lives in Whitley Bay, said when the park first opened it attracted hundreds of children, but when the craze became less popular, fewer youngsters would go there, and the council eventually closed it.

“We thought we had won a victory when they opened the park, I thought I was a hero for a while.

“And we were really upset when it was closed.”

Michelle, who is married to James, and has a son (21) and a daughter (18), said she and her friend Lindsey, took up the sport after seeing skaters, mostly boys, skateboarding.

“We used to put our two skateboards together and, facing each other, go with two skateboards together, so that it created immense speed.

“My son took up skateboarding for a while. He really enjoyed it.

“I encouraged him because there’s so much technology and social media that stops kids playing out like they used to do. It was a way of getting him off the xbox.”

Michelle, who was 13 when the photo was taken, hung up her helmet and skateboard when she was about 15.

“I got into make-up and high heel shoes.”

After that, Michelle became one of the first female apprentices to work at Allen Bradley, in Jarrow. She then became a quality manager before moving on to teaching.

Today, Michelle is delighted to see that skateboarding is making something of a comeback.

And she remains proud of her and Lindsey’s achievement in getting the skate park all those years ago.

“It just shows, if you want something then it’s worth fighting for,” she added.