Harvey Millerchip - UNIT 19

“If Your Name Ain’t Down – You Ain’t Getting In!”


An interview with UNIT 19 founding fathers Eric Hayto; Tyrone White; Harvey Millerchip and Craig ‘Chuck’ Norris.

There are tales of a secret ramp hidden away on the UK’s south coast and, like all great myths, there is often a story behind the legend.

Regarded, by those fortunate enough to have skated it, as one of the best mini-ramps anywhere, Unit 19 represents an elusive Utopia for would-be shredders who aren’t prepared to grovel, bribe or offer sexual favours to get a sniff of the action.

How many of us have sat around on cold, wet, Winter (or Summer for that matter!) days and said “Wouldn’t it be great to have our own indoor ramp – just for us and our mates?”

Probably most of us, if we’re honest. Well, that’s just what these guys did, and instead of sitting on their arses and bitching about the weather and crowded parks, they got their heads together and set about building their own private indoor playground…..

SP   I guess we can’t talk about Unit 19 without at least paying homage to “The Basement” – care to bore us with the history, Ty?

TW “Unit 19 is basically an evolution of “the Basement” – a 120 foot-wide mini ramp (with a spine and a 24 foot wide 8 foot vert section), situated underneath a large shop in North End, Portsmouth.

“The Basement” came about because the original “Grave Diggers” pub garden ramp was shut down and needed to be moved as the noise caused complaints from local residents.

“The Basement’ was a rancid, fungus-infested shit hole, ran in total secrecy. This is where the whole myth / legend of an underground ramp came from.

It was a seriously invite-only (even then you were still treated like an outsider for your first few visits!) deal, with limited access and restricted skate times.”

SP В  Sounds hesh! So, what prompted you guys to build Unit 19, and how did it all get started?

HM “When the Basement closed (after about 3 years), we just had to find a new location…..”

EH “We were looking for premises for quite a while. Then I got a job to clear out a unit to get ready to rent again and it was while I was doing this that I wondered if we could fit a ramp in it!

I called Tyrone, we took some measurements, and he got one of his guys at work to draw something up on CAD to see what we could fit it in.”

[Opposite: Harvey Millerchip В | В Bouncer Duty]

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