Leeds Rollarena

Bunkers, shelters and other buildings
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String-Boy
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Joined: Thu 04 Apr, 2019 10:31 pm

Leeds Rollarena

Post by String-Boy »

I started skating there on 12th January 1971 with very very greatful thanks to a new friend David, whome I had a purely by chance meeting with 2 nights earier at a fun fair and who already was an established roller skater. David subsequently became a good and much valued friend until he left skating a few months later to join the merchant navy.

I instantly fell in love with skating and became a 5 or 6 ( sometimes 7 ) nights a week roller skater until the rink's closure on 29th June 1973.

Main features

2 speeds sessions each followed by a trio's dance skating session. Main speed records were Red river rock by Jonny and the hurricanes, Wipe out by The Saffari's and your ready now by Frankie Vallie. Trio's records were Lonely Boy by Paul Anchor, followed by World without love by Peter and Gorden followed by either an instrumental version of 76 trombones Or Candida by Dawn.

Trio's skating consisted of group's of 3 skaters side by side (2 girls with a boy in middle or 2 boys with a girl in middle) linking arms behind backs. Each groups would skate forwards all kicking left feet forward a couple of times then all kicking right feet forwards a couple of times then all 3 skaters would rotate round 360 degrees (all keeping in line) and continue forwards repeating the same steps. There could be 12 or more groups of 3 skaters (hence trio's) all skating round the floor simultaneously.

Live local band on stage each Saturday night

All night skating sessions ( Midnight to 06:00) each bank holiday Sunday night and each Christmas night.

Bar (over 18's) looking out onto skating floor

DJ's included
Simon Peters (of Radio Leeds)
Malcolm Hulme

General manager Les Phillips (not the film star)

Many many very happy memories of those times and all the good friends made there.

Following the closure of the rollarena with 2 live concerts by David Bowie (29th June 1973) a groups of about 10 of us migrated up to the Bradford Ice Arena to continue skating. Sadly, over the following 3 or 4 months 1 by 1 the others dropped out to persue other interests.

I was the only one of the original 10 to keep it up - for over 30 years - hence my very very greatful thanks to David who, following a purely by chance meeting at a Christmas fun fair was to completely change my life for the next 33 years.


I have a folder on the juke box page of my phone titled Leeds Rollarena with all the tracks listed above and many many more from those times that were played regularly at the rollarena and a photo of the actual fairground ride where David and I first met - so the memories are always with me.
Last edited by String-Boy on Tue 16 Apr, 2019 6:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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tyke bhoy
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Joined: Wed 21 Feb, 2007 4:48 am
Location: Leeds/Wakefield
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Re: Leeds Rollarena

Post by tyke bhoy »

Welcome to SL String-Boy and thanks for sharing your memories. The rollarena has been mentioned on many threads on SL. If you go to the site's home page and put "the rollarena" in the custom google search you will find most of them and hopefully bring back more happy memories and maybe recognize a few people.
living a stones throw from the Leeds MDC border at Lofthousehttp://tykebhoy.wordpress.com/

Mayvillelass
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon 01 Feb, 2021 3:43 pm

Re: Leeds Rollarena

Post by Mayvillelass »

Hi tyke bhoy. I have looked for rollerena photos but cannot find any. I was curious if I recognised anyone.

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tyke bhoy
Posts: 2301
Joined: Wed 21 Feb, 2007 4:48 am
Location: Leeds/Wakefield
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Re: Leeds Rollarena

Post by tyke bhoy »

Welcome Mayvillelass. The recognise was intended to be by name, nickname or description. I'm not sure if any of the threads have photos. The search facility is unfortunately gone but most search engines can now be filtered to only show results from secretleeds.com (or any other domain).

Doing so on Google threw out this thread of 80 posts viewtopic.php?f=11&t=226 and a couple more
viewtopic.php?t=806
viewtopic.php?t=1023
If anybody has attached photos it will be in the 80 post thread.
living a stones throw from the Leeds MDC border at Lofthousehttp://tykebhoy.wordpress.com/

Mayvillelass
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon 01 Feb, 2021 3:43 pm

Re: Leeds Rollarena

Post by Mayvillelass »

Thank you for that. A lovely trip down memory lane.

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