A Kent carpenter says that enduring a horrific accident eight years in the past was one of the best factor to ever occur to him.
John Wingate, from Ditton, was motivated after practically being crushed to loss of life, to depart his outdated job and create a skateboard store and pageant together with his spouse Elizabeth.
The couple present us spherical Blue Reef and chat about their upcoming pageant
Again in October 2014, John suffered a punctured lung, damaged ribs and a lacerated liver after he turned pinned down by a two-tonne wood-cutting machine.
The 53-year-old mentioned: “I used to be getting crushed, every part was mangled up within the machine besides from my proper arm.
“Fortunately for me I managed to seek out the cease button myself, because the man that was with me went into a whole panic and did not know what to do.”
Firefighters from the technical rescue unit spent 40 minutes releasing him from the equipment utilizing specialist lifting gear.
John mentioned: “I stayed concious all through the entire thing. I could not talk as a result of I could not breathe, I had no lung capability in any respect.
John and Elizabeth Wingate have been working Blue Reef for greater than 10 years
“I actually thought I used to be going to die – that was it, utterly sport over – I would not see my household once more.”
“What a horrible strategy to go.”
John was taken by the Air Ambulance as much as King’s Faculty Hospital, the place after 48 hours he suffered a cardio respiratory assault and needed to be resuscitated.
“That was really tougher to cope with than the accident,” he explains.
“I had no management over it – I even struggled going to sleep afterwards, it was laborious psychologically.
John needed to have months of restoration after struggling horrific accidents from a wood-cutting machine accident. Image: Elizabeth WingateThe 53-year-old thanks the Air Ambulance, who saved his life again in October 2011. Image: Elizabeth Wingate
“It took three weeks in intensive care and 6 months at dwelling. I could not stroll very far, or do a lot in any respect actually.
“I nonetheless undergo with continual ache now, between my abdomen and ribs. It does not cease me from doing something and is not insufferable, however every so often can really feel it.”
Regardless of every part he has been by means of, John believes that the accident was one of the best factor to have ever occurred to him.
He mentioned: “Some folks suppose I’m loopy saying it nevertheless it’s true, it was an actual life-changing factor.
“In a bizarre method, it makes you see life in a different way, and it is about residing – whether or not it’s laborious or straightforward, I simply wish to dwell.”
Blue Reef skate store additionally has a café the place passionate lovers can meetBlue Reef skate store in Linton has been open since June final yr
John now runs “Blue Reef” together with his spouse Elizabeth, 49, in Loddington Farm, Linton.
The half skateboard store, half cafe and workshop initially got here from their love of the seaside and browsing down in Cornwall.
Liz mentioned: “We had spoken about it earlier than and also you all the time put issues off to a different day, since you suppose there will likely be one other day.
“But it surely made us each realise, so we had a chat and determined to go for it.
“John used to surf, and the place his abdomen muscle tissues have been affected by the accident, it was now too painful to paddle out.
The vary of skateboards on show on the store, accessible to attempt to purchaseJohn’s workshop subsequent to the skate store, the place he works on a wide range of tasks
“So he constructed himself a skateboard to get that adrenalin rush once more, and that is how the eagerness began.”
John added: “I wished a longboard, however could not discover one to my liking, so I made one myself!
“Individuals noticed what I used to be doing, requested for me to make them one and it simply developed from there.”
John’s skateboards take round 10 hours to make, however the course of varies on the complexity of the design – with costs various from £100 to £300.
The carpenter has now made customized longboards for the likes of British motorbike racer Scott Redding, Scottish racer John McPhee, Jason Bradbury from The Gadget Present and in addition Jack Bessant, bass participant from 90’s rock band Reef.
John Wingate with British motorbike racer, Scott Redding, posing with a longboard handmade by John. Image: Elizabeth Wingate
He commented: “Since I began making these boards, my life has utterly modified – not within the financial sense, however the high quality of life and experiences.
“It simply developed over time, we by no means deliberate to have a skate store, or a pageant, however we simply did not cease ourselves and began saying sure to issues.
“You get right into a mind set that it could actually’t be any worse than what has already occurred.”
Liz added: “By doing this we have now met so many superb, inspirational and artistic folks.
“It has actually opened the doorways to a different world.”
Blue Reef Pageant again in 2021. Photographer: Richard Butters
Final yr the couple celebrated the companies tenth anniversary, and ended up internet hosting what was initially a small social gathering with associates, that ultimately was a full-blown pageant.
On July 21, 2,000 residents loved a day of dwell music, acoustic levels and a dance tent.
A whole bunch of basic automobiles and VW campervans lined the sector, and a skate ramp was put in place to show demos from a few of the of UK’s prime skaters and BMX riders.
This yr, Elizabeth and John plan on going even higher – extending the pageant to 3 days and working music on each Friday and Saturday, with 12 further acts booked.
Liz mentioned: “Final yr was the primary time we had performed something like that, and we have been actually overwhelmed at how properly it had gone. It was a stunning environment.
Round 2,000 folks attended final yr’s Blue Reef Pageant close to Maidstone. Photographer: Richard ButtersReside and acoustic acts carried out on the pageant. Photographer: Richard Butters
“It was going to be a one off, however we had such an excellent response, folks liked it.
“We’ve bought on board one of the best native producers, avenue meals and artists – we’re surrounded by inspiring impartial companies.
“The farm itself is run by a household who’re captivated with regenerative farming and in addition run Owlet Fruit Juices.”
John added: “We want the pageant to remain fairly small and don’t desire it to be a lot larger than we at the moment are.
“We wish to make it a very good expertise for native households and other people. It needs to be higher not larger.”
The pageant combines each the couple’s passions – skateboarding and music. Photographer: Richard Butters
This yr the couple will likely be elevating cash for a skate park, which will likely be subsequent to the property in a close-by orchard and is deliberate for use by the local people.
After reflecting again on the accident in 2011, John says it is superb to understand what they’ve achieved.
He mentioned: “Since you spend more often than not spinning plates and preventing fires, you overlook that you just’re transferring ahead.
“Once I was laying in my hospital mattress, you begin pondering – if I had died, what would anybody have remembered me for?
“It appeared like I would performed nothing with my life, as a result of there was nothing there.
This yr’s Blue Reef Pageant will happen from 15 to 17 July. Image: Elizabeth Wingate
“Nearly now we’re form of leaving a legacy behind.”
Blue Reef Pageant takes place between Friday, 15, to Sunday, 17 July, at Loddington Farm in Linton.
Tickets vary from £50 to £75, discover out extra right here.