Meet The Roller Skaters of London’s Victoria Park

In a sun-soaked portrait series shot by Oliver Truelove, we spotlight a few characters from Victoria Park’s diverse roller-skating community.

Photographer: Oliver Truelove Writer: Orla Brennan

There’s something innately joyous about roller skating. Gliding across concrete on four wheels. The sun beating down on your skin and music blaring. It’s a sensory experience those who love the sport describe  as “getting in a state of flow.” Popularized during the disco movement of the 1970s and brought outdoors to parks with the arrival of inline skates in the 1990s, roller skating saw another revival in the summer months of 2020, when COVID lockdowns started to lift and people flooded outdoors in search of a simple form of escapism and connection. 

In London, the most vibey spot for those roller-inclined is found on the northeastern edge of Victoria Park, where skaters young and old, hailing from all walks of life and corners of the city—and indeed, varying skill levels—assemble each Saturday to bliss out together. Unlike skateboarding, whose tight-knit communities often err on the side of exclusivity, one thing the Victoria Park roller skaters unanimously extol is the group’s inclusive spirit: if you’re brave enough to put your boots on, you’re welcome to take part. 

Alongside a series of sunny straight-up portraits, celebrating the park’s diverse roller-skating characters and their eclectic personal styles, here, the community shares what makes the sport so special.