Above: It’s just not cricket. I got hit by a skateboarder at Priory Meadow, Hastings. It wouldn’t be my last collision.
About two years ago, I was walking through Priory Meadow, Hastings, when a young man on a skateboard came flying towards me, his Sussex Coast College pass flapping around his neck. He looked straight at me, the intent in the eyes said ‘get out of my way’. However, I am ill. At the time, I was suffering from slowed reactions. Although he was about 4 meters away, with time to move, he didn’t want to.
Yes, that’s my ankle he’s gone straight into. Ow. F@#k. What a …
He looked at me angrily. ‘Get out of my fucking way.’
I am ill. I was still piecing my reality together. Bright sun in eyes, a figure looming in front of me. It can take a while sometimes for the brain to create the usual mirage.
We exchanged some words. Mine were polite. His weren’t. We went our separate ways.
I go into Priory Meadow…
and chat to the guy sitting behind the information desk.
‘Hello, I just want to check if Priory Meadow is still a no-cycling, no skateboarding area?’
‘Yes, it is. There’s a no cycling and skateboarding policy at Priory Meadow.’
‘Yes, I thought so but you don’t have any signs these days, to tell people that. I used to work here when it opened and it was all signed very clearly at the entrances to Priory Meadow.’
I went on to tell him how I see people skateboarding and cycling through Priory Meadow all the time and how they could use some signs. And I had a rough idea of when I last saw the signs up and it seemed to coincide with quite a lot of the signs for no cycling/skateboarding disappearing overnight some years back, whilst local cycling groups were pushing for cycling in the town centre. Also, what had happened to security guards and cleaners approaching people, to let them know they shouldn’t be riding through the square.
He said ‘Right. And?’
I felt the conversation was over and left.
I hobbled around for a month, my ankle swollen. It was one and a half years later that I got rid of the shooting nerve pain and the clicking in my ankle.
Next post, I go to Sussex Coast College for help.
Please also see A visit to Hastings Community Contact Centre highlights the problem of Nuisance Cyclists about looking for help at the Contact Centre in Priory Meadow.