Big Wednesday

Film is a central part of the Skewjack story and features in many different ways. One of the UK's earliest surf filmmakers, John Adams, was a friend of Chris Tyler's and would film in the local area and arrange screenings. Going to watch a surf film at that time was a big thing. They weren't widely available and John and his contemporaries would set up screenings in local halls and bars across the UK to meet demand. Surfers would pile in, catch up and fuel their imaginations and dreams.

The Sunset Bar at Skewjack doubled up as a screening venue, not just for surf films but also movies ... the most infamous one being 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show', but that's another story! After that the next film that gets a mention is 'Big Wednesday'.
Rocky Horror and Big Wednesday both have themes of subversion, but Big Wednesday also represented a golden era of surfing. One that was slowly changing. At the time it was released surfers in the UK were emulating their heroes on the west coast and looked to the USA for inspiration and guidance. The film was almost a blueprint. Sayings crept into conversation, practical jokes were re-enacted. Sometimes it feels like there is a blur between the reality at Skewjack and scenes from the film; that over time the two could have become enmeshed in memory.

What has really stood out though is the response to the question I ask in all of my interviews: Did Skewjack change your life? In the vast majority of my interviews with those who surfed, they mention Big Wednesday ... and they all mention the same line: "It was their time" That's where the biggest connection with the film lies now. Looking back, Skewjack was a special and, more often than not, pivotal point in time. Never to be re-lived and unable to be re-created. It was indeed their time.

Skewjack Stories
JMO, Jeremy Gilbert & Adrian Wesley. Sennen. 1978