- Streatham Ice Rink was opened
on 26th February 1931. Queens Ice Rink (opened 1930) is
the only older rink in the UK that is still open.
- The building was designed by
Robert Cromie, a renowned designer of cinemas in the
1930s. The facade was built in reconstructed Portland
stone and black faience. The interior decor was very
unusual - "a kind of kaleidoscopic scheme ... in a series
of interwoven patterns, each based upon some ordinary
motif in everyday life, such as a viaduct, tower,
battleship, tree, gramophone record, waves and the
- Advantage was taken of the
sloping site to place the ice surface at a lower level
than the entrance hall. The ice surface was 210 ft. long
by 100 ft. wide (larger than the current international
standard size of 60m x 30m).
- 3000 people attended the
opening. The headline in the local paper was "Don't go to
Switerland: Come to Streatham". Ice skating was no longer
restricted to the wealthy who could take holidays in the
Alps. There were three public sessions daily with an
entrance charge of 2/6 for adults, with half price for
children under 16.
- In the months following the
opening there were many events at the Rink, including
carnivals, ice hockey internationals and the NSA 1-mile
Amateur British Racing Championships.
- Prominent in the exhibitions
was Mr Phil Taylor, speed skater, stilt-skater, barrel
jumper and showman. He taught his daugher, Megan Taylor,
who went on to become World Champion in 1938.
- Three of the current
international compulsory dances - the Viennese Waltz,
Blues and Rocker Foxtrot - had their first performance at
Streatham in 1934.
- In 1935 the film "Car of
Dreams" starring John Mills was partially filmed at the
- This Pathe newsreel from 1937 shows
former Thames Punting Champion
Harry Higginson punting over the ice at Streatham.
Punting on ice
- All the English rinks closed
soon after the outbreak of World War II. Streatham was
requisitioned for food storage and remained closed until
- In 1951 the ice surface was
reduced to make room for 800 extra seats.
- Jeanette Altwegg, Olympic
figure skating champion, trained at Streatham for 5 years
in the 1950s.
- In 1962 the rink was taken over
by Mecca, who spend £100,000 on improvements and
opened it as the fourth Silver Blades Rink.
- Jacqueline Harbord, twice World
Professional Ladies Champion (1963-4) trained at
- Diane Towler and Bernard Ford
trained part-time at Streatham, on their way to becoming
four times World Ice Dance Champions (1966-69). Diane
Towler MBE is now senior coach at Streatham.
- In 1967 two penguins from
Chessington Zoo paid a visit. There is a mute film clip
- In 1979 the rink closed after
ice-making machinery broke down. There was a local
campaign to save the rink. It re-opened in 1980 after
£1m repairs and refurbishment.
- In 1990 the rink was sold to
- In 2001 Tesco bought the site
and the long saga over the redevelopment began.
- In the 2004 British
Championships, 4 Streatham-based couples competed and did
very well. In the Seniors Pippa Towler-Green and Philip
Poole won the bronze medal, with Candice Towler-Green and
James Phillipson finishing 4th . In the Juniors Emma
Murphy and Harry Souter won Bronze, and Talia Barrington
and Darren Powell came 4th.
- In the 2005 British
Championships, Pippa Towler-Green and Phillip Poole won
the Senior Ice Dance silver medal, earning the right to
compete in the 2006 European Championships. For the
2006/7 season they acheived the same placing, earning
their place in the 2007 European Championships in
- On Saturday 26th February 2011
the rink reached the 80th anniversary of its opening.
- The original Streatham rink closed on 18th December 2011
with a closing Gala and "End of Era" hockey match. The temporary Brixton rink opened
the following day, 19th December 2011. The new Streatham Ice Rink and Leisure Centre is
expected to open at the end of 2013.