Jamie's name lives on after 15 years
Gordon Clapp with Jamie's friends at the skate park on the 15th anniversary of his death
THE father and friends of a Mangotsfield teenager killed in a plane crash have marked the 15th anniversary of his death at the skateboard park built in his honour.
Jamie Clapp was just 13 when he died in July 2007.
Mangotsfield School pupil Jamie loved skateboarding and BMX riding, and in his memory his father Gordon and his friends campaigned to secure £100,000 to pay for the skate park, next to Emersons Green Retail Park, from local councillors, South Gloucestershire Council and the Big Lottery Fund's People's Millions partnership.
Gordon often visits the park and has met Jamie's friends there every year on July 3, the anniversary of Jamie's death.
But he says this year will be his last, after he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and given months to live.
Gordon said: "I'm proud that after all these years Jamie's friends still remember him and still think of him – they all still obviously miss him.
"But I won't be able to do it next year. I'm going to be joining him soon – I hope he's there waiting for me. I'm still very proud of what we've done – I know his name will live on."
The park opened in 2011 and includes a memorial plaque to Jamie, benches and an imprint of a pair of his trainers.
It is being given floodlighting so it can be used after dark as part of the council's Linking the Greens project.
But although the park is widely known as a memorial to Jamie, this is not recognised in its official registered name, which is Emersons Green Skate Park.
A council spokesperson has confirmed that the name could be changed, although this "would need to involve a period of consultation with residents and users of the skatepark to ask for their views".
Ollie Nemeth, who chaired the fundraising committee for the skate park, said: "Jamie was my childhood best friend, so to have the park officially renamed would be fantastic. We had assumed it was already and were surprised to learn it's not. It's a living memorial to Jamie and a lot of people who knew him still go there – it's a special place."
Emersons Green town councillor Matt Palmer has also backed the idea of officially renaming the park after Jamie.