Comments about this page

Hi Bob, I was very interested to read your page as during the late 60s and 70s, I also was working in Ice Rink Management originally at Westover Ice Rink in Bournemouth and then I moved on to Silver Blades Ice Rinks in Birmingham, Leeds and Bradford with a shorter spell at Steatham. I also knew Jimmy Saville when he was Manager at the "Spinning Disc" Disco in Leeds. I never cease to be amazed at what a small world it is!

By Tony Mould (05/04/2011)

The organist at the ice rink was Len Jones, I remember he would lean on the DJ consul stick, a Bert Kaempfert LP on, smoking a cigar. When it finished he would say "Suppose I have to play the organ for a bit". The Rank would have loved to get rid of him as he was on massive money because the Musicians' Union was very strong in those days.

By Tommy Terrell (06/04/2011)

Hi Tony, I did not often get down to Bournemouth in those days, maybe just 2-3 occasions but one of the managers from West Street moved down there. If I remember correctly it was a Peter and he drove an early straight 6 Mustang which was a great pose-mobile in those days when most of us were running around in little Mini Coopers or GT Cortinas. I did get to Silver Blades on a few occasions and Altringham and had previously made it all the way to the Paisley Pirates stadium but that was during the SS days. A dangerous place then for a southerner to be when there was a match on! Fortune smiles upon us as I see we have an honoured guest among us with Tommy who may be able to fill in some missing links. Thanks TT for the name you have provided and the possible one you emailed for the bar manageress. I do remember she had the most amazing perfectly manicured finger nails - like scimitar blades! Yes the cigar, Len was never without it. So Tony, did you ever manage to pay a visit to West Street?

By Bob (07/04/2011)

I think the young skater is Jill Simpson who later taught at the Queens Square Ice Rink. Len Jones was the ice rink organist. He moved from Altrincham to Brighton when the Top Rank rink opened in 1966. Len never settled in the South and moved back to Altrincham in about 1969. His daughter was Marilyn Jones. We were good friends but she gave up skating and moved away with her boyfriend in 1967. The biggest Jimmy Saville event was in 1970, I believe, when Top Rank supported a walk in aid of the Penny Gobby House.

By David Ward (28/08/2011)

In 1966 I was assistant manager at Manchester Ice Palace. Len Jones was the organist. We were good friends as I also played the organ. Marilyn was a young teenager. The ice rink eventually closed because of new owners Mecca who refused to close down in summer to allow the ground to thaw. The center of the rink started to rise and the pipes were showing through.Their answer? Close it. A sad end for the old place. It's still standing to this day because it's a listed building. Derelict now. Great shame.

By Philip Duncan (17/11/2011)

My best holiday: In Brighton in 1969 together P; died yesterday. We went to Top Rank for dancing. Now I'm looking at the places I remember and I'm thinking ... Farewell, my friend. Thank you for friendship.

By S.P. (24/02/2012)

Message for Bob Catt - when you worked as a photographer, did you take any photos of The Love Affair when they played at The Suite '68 or '69? Thanks.

By Irene Dobson (nee Budd) (17/10/2015)

For Irene Dobson. Many apologies for the long delay in replying to your request. I still make the occasional visit to this website but usually to see what new posts are added, it never occurred to me to check on this one, as you can see the previous comment to yours was in February 2012.
I recall 'The Love Affair' playing at the Suite but there were so many performers and bands we covered back then especially when the management wanted photos of themselves with the various acts for publicity purposes.
The bad news is that during the late 70s David Packham had a fire in his studio darkroom and many thousands of negatives were destroyed along with valuable photographic equipment. Sadly the negatives cannot be replaced. David passed away a few years ago but I still have contact with his son and daughter. His son lives in the USA but I am hoping to catch up with him when he visits. Hopefully he can locate any surviving negatives from that period as I often get asked for pictures especially from the ice skaters.
There are several Brighton Night Club and Disco group pages on facebook you could give them a try also the flickr website might be of help, maybe type 'The Love Affair' into their search engine.

By Bob Catt (24/07/2016)

Does any one know what happened to Anne Mansell and Lyn Steffan that skated with me from 1969 until the closer in the early 70s, they were good friends  but I lost contact when I moved to Canada. 

By stevemutcham@yahoo.com (14/09/2016)

I remember being at the ice rink in the early 70s! I loved the popular music, but also the electric organ that was sometimes played! I lived in Peacehaven, so I often used to miss the last bus back, and would have to walk! Why was it closed? The same thing happened to Streatham and Southampton ice rinks!

By Dawn Hamilton (16/05/2017)

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