Rollerskating feat marked with plaque

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A local steampunk icon had a plaque unveiled at the top of what is considered the world’s steepest residential street on Wednesday to commemorate a rollerskating feat done in 1988.

Oamaru League of Victorian Imagineers founder Iain Clark had a plaque placed at the top of Baldwin St in Dunedin to honour his achievement of rollerskating up the street in 1988.

Mr Clark said he wanted to create a plaque as a largely unknown but integral part of history for Baldwin St and for himself.

He contacted the Dunedin City Council to ask if he could get a plaque made for the top and they had worked with him to get it organised, he said.

Being a competitive skater, he decided to skate up the hill before the Baldwin Street Gutbuster in 1988.

“I thought it was a brilliant idea,” Mr Clark said.

“I was really pleased that they allowed me to do it.”

At the time he was fit but did find it a challenge and was relieved to make it to the top, he said.

The skates are now located at the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.

The Oamaru League of Victorian Imagineers had another exciting moment on Wednesday when they managed to convince comedian Billy Connelly to become a member at his show in Dunedin.

Mr Clark said it seemed like a good idea so they asked him and he said he would be quite honoured.

They spent five to ten minutes chatting with him about Oamaru and gave him a badge and membership card, he said.

“We had dressed as steam punk…we thought it might be crazy enough for him to take notice of us.”

By RUBY HARFIELD