This week, Hornchurch’s Rom Skatepark has been Grade II listed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, on the advice of English Heritage.
Built in 1978 by Adrian Rolt and G-Force, it is one of a few skateparks that survive from the early skateboarding boom in the UK. The site is famously a prime spot for BMX and the Rom’s own BMX Shop operates on the site.
Rom is Europe’s first Skatepark to be listed and only the second in the world – the Bro Bowl in Tampa Florida pipped it by being added to the USA’s National Register of Historic Places in October 2013.
So what does Grade II listing actually mean? According to English Heritage it’s not about ‘freezing a building or site in time’, it simply means that consent must be applied for in order to make any changes that ‘might affect its special interest’, effectively protecting it from being bulldozed in favour of a new Tesco/block of flats/mansion/delete as appropriate.
Are there any other sites famous for cycling that deserve similar status, or need it to protect them from destruction? How about the Herne Hill Velodrome, the only surviving venue from the 1948 London Olympics. Or maybe some of the nation’s oldest bike shops?
Sports venues are not unprecedented in the listings, with tennis and squash courts achieving listed status.
If you’ve got any suggestions, let us know in the comments below. If they can list the Abbey Road zebra crossing then it’s not too much to ask for some more cycle-centric rulings, right?