Roller Hockey, Great Yarmouth Roller Skating Club

Photographs of Roller Hockey

By Laura Matthews

Great Yarmouth Roller Skating Club had a Roller Hockey team who played in tournaments as well as playing games for the audiences at the Roller Cavalcades. Below are some photographs of one of the teams, the Comets, in action.

Photo:Members of the Comets Roller Hockey team, 1957

Members of the Comets Roller Hockey team, 1957

Courtesy of Peter Parker

Photo:Members of the Comets Roller Hockey team, 1957: Front row left - right, F. Brown, P. Parker, T. Taylor (Capt)Back row, second from left F. Burnett, 3rd F. Yaxley.

Members of the Comets Roller Hockey team, 1957: Front row left - right, F. Brown, P. Parker, T. Taylor (Capt)Back row, second from left F. Burnett, 3rd F. Yaxley.

Courtesy of Peter Parker

Photo:Members of the Comets Roller Hockey team playing a game in the Winter Gardens, 1957

Members of the Comets Roller Hockey team playing a game in the Winter Gardens, 1957

Courtesy of Peter Parker

Photo:Members of the Comets Roller Hockey team playing a game in the Winter Gardens, 1957

Members of the Comets Roller Hockey team playing a game in the Winter Gardens, 1957

Courtesy of Peter Parker

This page was added by Laura Matthews on 08/06/2007.
Comments about this page

In 1954 I played in goal for the Comets Rollerhockey team. Frank Burnett by this time was captain of a team called the Stars. Our captain was T.Taylor. The man in white shirt in the first photo is Stan Scott who reffereed all the games. Peter Parker I think lived on St. Nicholas road he had a younger brother named David who was my first partner in the comedy act of the Roller Revels show. Followed then by Tony Bean. Frank Burnett was a proper James Dean type black leather jacket and jeans to my young years he was my idol . We must all have had an idol some where? Thanks for the photos they bring back happy memories.

By colinbrowne
On 14/12/2007

This is awesome to see. I have been playing since 1981 in the US and it's amazing to see how the sport has progressed. Thanks for posting the pictures.

By PJ Mueller
On 04/02/2008

When I played roller hockey in the 1950s I can remember some Americans used to play against us on the outdoor rink I think they came from one of the air bases? They were just friendly games, one of the players was called (Buck wheat) this was just a nick name. Our local teams played at the Norwich rink, Lowestoft, Kings Lynn and Hunstaton: their rink used to be right near the beach opposite what was once the open air swimming pool. It used to take hours to get there and back but win or lose it was great fun. Are there any other players out there?

By colinbrowne
On 07/02/2008

Roller hockey is among the best games that I have ever played. There are 5 players present on the ground at all times. One is the keeper and the others play ahead. It is a highly complex game which has a lot of aggression in it.

On 12/05/2008

would anyone know if F Yaxley was related to John and Robert Yaxley?

By kathleen kennedy
On 30/03/2009

Hi, my name is Billy Brown, I am the odd one out in picture 3. I started playing at Gorleston around 1947 when Jocelyn Taylor & Frank Martin were skating there. When Gorleston closed I went to Yarmouth and played for the Stars up until I went in the RAF in 1954. The Stars team at that time was Wally, Giles in goal, Albert Nichols back, John Annis pivot, Frank Burnet right wing, and me left wing, that was how we played then.
In the 70,s hockey restarted and I played for the Yarmouth Flyers, different formations were used, one of which was the box formation, good for defence and attack as well. I still have my gear ( skates, stick, pads etc.) but don,t think I will be using them anymore at my age (75), in my dreams perhaps.

By Billy Brown
On 21/04/2009

Good to see you are still about Billy, 75 years old, I still remember playing hockey with you, now 47 myself

By Mark Sharman
On 01/06/2009

Hi my name is Julie Yaxley, my father was F (Freddie) Yaxley of the Commets roller hockey team. To answer Kathleen Kennedy's question, we don't recall a John or Robert Yaxley in the family, Dad's family were from Northgate Street.
My Mother (Greta) has enjoyed reading this page, recognising some names from her younger days!.

By Julie Yaxley
On 16/06/2009

I started playing in the early 80's along with my brother Andrew.some of the 'older' players were John Hollowell, Brian Thompson aka Chef, Billy Brown, Pat Johns(ladies keeper), and some of the younger ones along with Andy Caton, Justin and Jason Rounce, a tall lad called Mark (sorry forgot surname), and Chris Hales,who's mother Valerie was also a player. I started in the 'Jets' with Matthew Hollowell, Paul Angel, Justin Franklin,and William Lynde. My brother Andrew, Paul Mancini and Hustin Stonebridge...those were the good days. Sunday evening practise in a leaking, freezing, arena, or if it was summer the outside skating rink which was not even remotely flat!!

By martin chapman
On 16/06/2009

On my visit to Yarmouth's Time & Tide museum I learnt from an old school friend that a good roller hockey friend Frank Burnet had passed away. He could not remember when. He will be sadly missed by all us roller skating crowd.

By colinbrowne
On 14/08/2009

This brings back a few memories.
I played for (and captained) the Comets Junior team in the late 70's when Billy Brown's son Graham also played as a very young member. We won the UK Junior Championship (can't remember the year but will try to dig out my old scrap book with all the news paper cuttings), the team consisting of myself, John Thompson (son of the then rink professional George), Neil Thomson, son of the Flyers Goalie Brian Thomson, Ian Smith, Paul Gibson, and Paul Goffin, an old schoolfriend of mine in goal.
As a kid we all spent many hours at the rink every week, especially in the school summer holidays.
Many weekends were spent traveling to various venues around the country to play league games, with a great team moral.
Senior team at the time, the Flyers whom I also played for was Brian Thomson in goal. Billy as mentioned above, Graham Cubitt who also played for the England national team, his brother (sorry can't recall the name), Billy Boldra, Giles Tuffield, and Robin Stolworthy.
the other team around at the time was the still named Comets, consisting of I believe it was Graham?? in goal, Neil Thomson, David (sorry again surname evades me) Andy and Paul (no surname again, it's an age thing), John Holliwell.
Wonder where they all are now?

By brian taylor
On 13/10/2009

Brian Taylor nice to see that you took up the gloves of the roller hockey teams in the 70s, you will see that I found my photo of the comets 1953-4 on the web site funny, but our capt was a Tony Taylor any relation ? In the 1940s I went to the Priory boys school on what was priory plain some off the names you put forward sound familiar may be (dads, grandads) I knew G.Thompson is picture is on photo roller revels 1954 also goffin & cubbitt but I might be wrong any way a new rink is opened on the sea front I'm told, hope it does well await replies Colin Browne

By colin browne
On 09/11/2009

colin, yes theyre is a new rink open in Yarmouth called Retro Skate. they have two hocky teams at the moment (expert and begginers) im 15 and currently the only girl who playes inexpert group. we have had Norwich roller hocky club over twice and played against them. It's great to hear from people like you all who have played hocky in the past years and its great to see how the sport has progressed throughout the years. were getting a lot better very quickly and i find you all a great insperation. hope you write back, await replies  - Abbie.

By abbie hendry
On 04/05/2010

Dear Abbie, a bit of a surprise. Girl roller hockey players what ever will they think off next? ( sorry love only joking) If you go to the page on girls roller net ball team you will see a young girl then in 1950s named Molly Nutman. We were then at that time one might say an item. Sadly things change. During the summers of1950s the then mens roller hockey teams played net ball against the girls, sort of, before the roller skating show started to entertain the crowds. Needs to say with a lot of cheating and clowning around the girls always won.

I am so glad that you and your friends and others are carry ing on the sport.  I hope to call in at your rink later this year hope to be welcome. See ya Colin

By colin browne
On 14/05/2010

Dear Abbie Hendry, just in case you will be at the Reto Rink on the Friday the 24th Sept 2010 in mid afternoon I will be at Gt. Yarmouth on that day & will call in hope to meet also Donna Wix ? ps remember I am now at 74 yrs so I wont be on my skates but wish I could see ya

By colin browne
On 27/08/2010

It has been great to catch up with all of the lovely pictures.

By Derrick Brown
On 29/09/2010

Dear Reader, I am Rik Berends from Holland. Would you be so kind to answering my following questions to completed my roller hockey files. WHen was the club founded anmd folded? What are the colours? DO you have a logo of the club? Looking forward to hear from you as soon as possible. With best Regards,Rik

By Colin Stott for Rik Berends
On 03/05/2011

I am the grandaughter of Frank Martin and if you have any images of him I would love you to post them. Thanks. Marianne. My dad, Frank's son is quite ill at the moment and I think this may cheer him up. He was only 7 years old when he died and we all still talk about him. Marianne x

By Marianne Martin
On 15/08/2011

Are you aware that there is a book published on English Roller Hockey covering the years of 1885 to 1914. Its called The Early Years of English Roller by Roger Pout. The book lists roller skating companies, roller skating rinks, the founding of the game first known as rink hockey now called roller hockey in this country. With many photos of teams and individuals.

By Helen Pout
On 23/08/2011

Marianne I am sure that someone out there has some photos of Frank Martin and given time you will see them. I know because on using this site in the past I have been put in touch with long lost friends - the people who run this web site have been very helpful to me. I met Frank when I was just learning to roller skate at 12 yrs old. It was at the old Gorleston holiday camp near the green ace garage - wonderful times. Sad that your dad is not well - give regards & wish well - keep faith there is someone out there to help.

By colin browne
On 23/08/2011

Just a line to all the readers of this web site, last October 2011 I went to a school reunion; great to see my two old mates Tony Taylor & Peter Parker.  Both roller hockey players (see photo), first on site. Also found photos of Gorleston 1949 skaters (again see Pat Steward nee Couclough).  I remember Pat when I was a green learner.  I was glad to hear that Pat & Brian went on to greater skating heights, great times the 1950s.

By colin browne
On 09/01/2012

Hi Marianne, I never knew Frank Martin but Jocelyn Taylor did.  I have some photos with Frank and Jocelyn.  Please email me and I will email them to you.

By tracey davies
On 20/03/2012

To Marriane please contact me by email ,facebook,or phone me on 0034630263604. Jocelyn Taylor wants to get in touch as she has some photos of Frank Martin, and so does Brian Colclough. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH WHATEVER MEANS YOU CAN DO.

By tracey davies
On 25/06/2012

It's great reading all the old posts and even to recognize some of the names from when I was asked Tom lay for the club which would have been in the 80's. I lived in and played for Felixstowe in the Eastern Counties and was very fortunate to play for the Flyers in the National leagues and also the odd invitation matches in Holland, playing for the Flyers was certainly some of the best with the highlight being winning the Dunbar Trophy, absolutely loved playing with the like of Billy, Brian, John and Robin and many more, (Paul, Chris and Andy to name a few) would really love to meet up with the guys now for a drink and talk about old times, was such a long time ago but only feels like yesterday, I have only just recently packed up playing as the teams were getting younger and I was getting older (still held my own though against them), . Hi to everyone who can remember me including members of the girls team That was playing at the time, sorry but I can't remember the name of the girls team

By Mark Burns
On 27/04/2015

Hi, it's been lovely to read the complimentary comments about my father in law Frankie Burnett. He passed away in May 2008! One of the kindest gentlest man I have ever met and so blessed that my children had him for a grandad. His wife Beryl nee Nickerson has just turned 80 she played roller netball 

By Donna Lelean
On 19/11/2018

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