Rom Skatepark is situated in a grassy corner of Hornchurch, in the London Borough of Havering (although we still like to think of it as Essex!)
Alongside the banks of the river Rom (from where it gets its name) lies one of the greatest original concrete skatepark’s ever created.
The site was an old quarry which became a driving school and then later a corner of land was given to build a concrete skatepark. It was a Shotcrete project designed by G-Force/Adrian Rolt and built by Skate Park Construction. Rom Skatepark was designed and built using standard elements of the most popular skateparks in the US.
But by the end of 1979 this new skateboard craze was apparently over, and so Rom sat empty apart from a few hard core ‘weirdos’ on wooden things with wheels….still skating.
With more staff than customers, and racks of rental pads, helmets and boards gathering dust, the future of Rom was undetermined, and nearly flattened to become a Tescos supermarket. Until a keen sportsman and astute business man, John Greenwood Snr, saw the potential in the future of skateboarding and rollerskating and left his secure business behind him and put all he had into making a viable sports wholesale business.
Rom Skates Ltd was at the forefront of the UK skateboarding market in supplying boards trucks and bearings to the south east U.K skateboard scene while keeping the park open for use, and available for the next generation of skaters.
The Pool at Rom was based on the keyhole pool at Skateboard Heaven in Spring Valley, which was based on the San Diego ‘Soul Bowl’. This meant for the first time a specific backyard Southern California pool had been transplanted, modified and finally cloned on the other side of the Atlantic.
Apart from the Pool the most popular part of Rom skatepark are the Moguls. The six bowls are set in a triangle format, giving the skater more lines to skate than anything else. From the day they were built for 5” skateboards until today, skaters, BMXers and everyone else can find a never ending run from pumping the curves.
Bikers at Rom Skate park in Hornchurch in Essex; the first skatepark in Europe to be given protected heritage status by English Heritage. Pic: Richard Pohle
Just beside the clover is the concrete halfpipe which has also had some of the 4.5 foot wall taken down for easier access and airing out. The highest and lowest part of Rom is the “Slalom run and Reservoir” with all its banks hips and lines is a real pleasure to skate.
Help us keep the Rom flame burning. Skate and Ride hard!