Skewjack Surf Village opened in 1971 and was the brainchild of one of the early pioneers of British surfing, Chris Tyler. He and business partner, Ron Bishop, bought a former RAF base near Land's End and converted the buildings into basic holiday accommodation; including a bar, bistro, shop and pool. The idea was simple: they would transport guests down to the nearby beach at Sennen in an old ambulance, teach them to surf and then return to the village at night to party, all for £1 a night. The ethos was boy meets girl. The partying was legendary.
But the village became much more. It became a symbol of freedom. It inspired a whole generation and changed lives. It created families and lifelong friendships. It broke others, its darker side never too far away. Eventually it became a victim of its own success, its roots in surf culture overshadowed by the emerging 18-30 set.
Skewjack Stories charts the history of this unique moment in time through the eyes of those who were there, from its conception to its demise via stories of surfing, love, determination, hedonism and imagination, reflecting the growing surf culture at the time and Cornwall's ability to break from the norm. It was their time.
Thank you to the Tyler and Bishop families for their blessing and ongoing support for the book and project.
Curator, Skewjack Stories.