Sunday, 12 July 2015

Some thoughts on Roller Skating in Thanet

It’s been a bit of a roller skating weekend for me, so sitting here somewhat bruised, due to the falling over aspect I thought that I had better do my duty on the local history front.


First let me clarify what I mean by roller skating is the business done with skates that have four wheels, one in each corner, like the skates in the picture.


The first properly documented proof I have of this activity occurring in Thanet is in 1879, this picture shows the roller rink at The Granville in Ramsgate and comes from a London Illustrated News supplement about the Granville in Ramsgate, click on this link if you want to read the whole thing http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/gt/id7.htm


It would appear from the picture. What? Perhaps the skater in the picture has made the mistake I made earlier and has put his reading glasses on to read a text message and while trying to extract his smart phone from a tight pocket has just realised that not only do reading glasses make the floor appear all blurry but also make objects on said floor appear in a different place. Actually probably not.

Although Victorian women appear to be involved in roller skating, they don’t appear to actually skate, I guess that as modesty conventions of the time wouldn’t have allowed them to wear trousers or show even hosed leg above the ankle, learning to skate would have been tricky

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