A SKATER has opened a shop in Henley devoted to his hobby.
Yeuk in Friday Street is run by Steve Terry and sells skateboards and skating accessories and clothes.
Mr Terry has taken over the former Little Nellie’s sweet shop that closed in September after seven years.
He has lived in the flat above the shop for three years and saw the opportunity to fulfil a life-long ambition.
Mr Terry, 34, said: “I have skateboarded for 19 years and it has always been a goal of mine to own a skateboard shop. I think Henley has the market and people to support it. It is a great town and I feel that Friday Street is bohemian enough to take on a skate shop.”
Mr Terry, a carpenter who also runs a shop-fitting business, made the interior of the shop with the help of Henley decorator Josh Wolf.
He hopes the store will become a hub for fellow skaters, particularly youngsters, who can come and chat and ask questions.
Mr Terry said: “I wanted to get more involved in the community and put my heart into a passion of mine. I believe that once you have something you love to do it can’t fail.”
Mr Terry, who was born in Dublin, has lived in Henley on and off since the age of six and studied at Gillotts School and The Henley College.He was part of a group that campaigned for a skate park in Mill Meadows before one was built at Makins recreation ground.
He is keen to support the Henley Skate Park Initiative in its bid to build a new facility by holding regular fund-raisers at the shop. He called the shop Yeuk, which means “itch”, to poke fun at the negative perception of skateboarding and skaters.
Mr Terry said: “The name came from the old expression ‘if you have an itch, scratch it’. I take the positives out of skateboarding and that is the friendship and the community. It is free and gets people to express themselves.”
In October, town councillors agreed to form a working party with users of the existing skate park to help obtain funding to develop it.
The Initiative wants a new concrete skate park because it says the current one is dated, noisy and unsuitable. The new park would be about 1,000 square metres — twice the size of the existing one — and would cost about £200,000.
Henley Mayor Elizabeth Hodgkin was guest of honour at the official opening of Yeuk.
She said: “I am delighted to welcome you to the town and I wish you every success, especially the skateboard part as it will help enormously to promote the new skate park in the town — you know what it is all about.”