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

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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