Roller skating memories

In this interview Peter Parker and Mr and Mrs Caton recall the skating shows

By Richard Dade

I started because I had just left school and the secretary came in one morning and said to me "we have just been roller skating last night it was real fun" and I said that sounds nice, my brothers used to skate and she said come with us next week and I was hooked.

There were two aspects of the skating, there was the skating show and training of skaters for eventually international skating.

I was with my wife in the dance team an occasionally they would go to rinks down in London and the pro would start working out at the show on the indoor rink say from the beginning of March.They used to have to move out of the indoor rink when the started the summer dancing and they'd move out about April time and you'd sort of put your scarf and thermal jacket on to skate outside.

The audience was attracted by the town crier Percy Laurie and he was like the Pied Piper although the show never started 'til quarter to eight at half past six you couldn't find a seat on there

The dance team had twelve couples and I think the chorus, I think at one time there was anything between 20 and 30 girls in the chorus and then normally we had a junior section as well either chorus, dancing or doing things. We used to be up near the gate selling programmes before the show

One amusing incident I was standing in the gates selling programmes and I don't know if you know the Wellington Pier but as you go into the gates of the outside section, the toilets, you went round either side of the deck and they were under the deck and there were all bushes in front to conceal it, and this gentleman came rushing up to me one day and said "where are the gents toilets"? I could see he was in a hurry and I said "down there behind the bushes not so b.. likely he says".

This page was added by Richard Dade on 17/03/2008.
Comments about this page

to Colin Stott Laura Matthews e-mailed me last month to say she has moved on to Thetford but I Hope she will still read the Gt. Y. webb site at her suggestion I am putting down what life was like to me In 1940 -50s and will forward on to you for approval ? also in the past I have asked about any other G Y skating club 1950s members taking in account that many are in late 70s -80s or possable no longer with us I did suggest that maybe there are ie children or grandchildren who might have had a parent or grandparent in the skating times ? If so maybe the schools could get involed ? This item is for you Mr Stott to see what you think if its ok? you have my e-mail address await your reply many thanks

By colinbrowne
On 12/05/2009

I will try again to send message contact a Gerry Smith who lived on the corner of Friars Lane in the masionettes. Also a in the 1950s a young girl named Elizabeth Smith who lived in a row of houses facing the gasometors. I think the name was West Street any one knows of where abouts.

By colinbrowne
On 03/08/2011

Hi Colin, I see you were looking for Gerry Smith. The Gerry Smith I knew worked for Pordages, passed on several years age and was married to Pauline Amos. Elizabeth Smith was not related to Gerry although she did have a brother whose name escapes me for now and I have seen him about. Both he and Elizabeth were not very tall. Derek Barker

By Derek Barker
On 05/09/2011

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