This is why Silver Blades meant so much to generations of Sheffielders

Sheffielders have shared their fond memories of the Silver Blades ice rink, a location where many forged friendships and some even fell in love.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 12:25 pm

Located on Queens Road, Silver Blades opened in 1965 and was skate central – for both blade and roller – from 1965-2005

It was visited by thousands upon thousands of people over its 40 years.

Star readers have shared their memories of the popular ice rink online.

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Silver Blades Ice Rink, Queens Road, Sheffield, May 2nd 1970 Young protest marchers protesting over the proposed closure of the rink

Sue Bower said: “My then boyfriend now hubby took me skating to Silver Blades on our first "date". Been married 28 years this year.”

Ann Marie McElearney added: “When they put rising of school leaving age up the teachers didn’t have lessons for us so we went to silver blades for lessons.”

Jax Luna said: “Loved this place...[we went] several nights per week my brothers, sister and me. My brother jumped barrels there (beer barrels not small kegs like on Olympics)

My sister did speed skating. I started off four figure skating (1970s), then did ice hockey with the boys 74-79 (before girls were even allowed) masked up kit on allowed when one of the boys sick or didn’t turn up got away with it ... until when we had one British bulldog standoff with visiting team & I was the only member of team left and 4 off them ... I took my helmet off to let them know I was a girl and that was the end of ice hockey ... just went most nights for fun ...

Skatenw - Silver Blades Ice Rink

She added: “Great memories great friends, hung around with another Jackie [who was from the] Mosborough / Killamarsh area, cannot remember her surname. The days when we knew our friends home telephone numbers un our heads rang them up or made arrangements on the night & people always turned up. They called us little and large so I had a headband with titch on ...

“Met one of my life-long friends Debbie Chapman and her friend Caroline , we are still friends today.

“Lots and lots of other people great times, affordable prices, so us working class, off council estates had somewhere to go and keep off streets.”

Roz Chadbourne said: “I used to go here every weekend with my best friend. We had bells on our skates that jingled as you went over the ice.

The former Silver Blades Ice Rink on Queens Road

"I loved it and so proud that I could skate, loved my white boots too - a few times round the ice and then off to be with the lads in the cafe.”

Emma Louise Horne added: “I spent a lot of time in this place so many memories and the great taste of grits in cafe.

“[Cleaning] Ice hockey boots with the bar towel, meeting lots of people

“Watching that bloke do the speed skating and jumping over people laid on floor – I’ve forgotten his name.”

Silver Blades Ice Rink, 1988

Many remember ascending those stairs, taking in the sounds and smells, with the expectation that came with a trip to Silver Blades getting stronger with every step.

Plenty of us came to grief on that slippery wet surface.

But we got back up, dusted ourselves down and carried on regardless of how wet, how embarrassed or how much it hurt.

It would be safe to say thousands had the rite of passage of a trip to Silver Blades.

Many friendships were created in that building, formed from a common interest in skating.

Silver Blades had everything needed to create fun, joy, excitement and friendships with a little bit of danger; and may have even been the catalyst that helped a number of Sheffielders to fall in love.

Ice skaters enjoy a public session at Silver Blades

So many thousands of us feel lucky to have had the chance to try out these facilities, where we could make life-long friends and even meet our future partners.

Ice skating still takes place in Sheffield, at Ice Sheffield in the lower Don Valley.

Completed in May of 2003, this facility has two Olympic sized ice rinks, with seating for 1,500 people.

It is home to most ice hockey teams in Sheffield, with the exception of Sheffield Steelers who are based at the Sheffield Arena.

The Queens Road skating rink, which was called Silver Blades, was opened by Mecca in 1965 and became the Skate Central roller skating arena in 2005. It is fondly remembered by thousands of people in Sheffield, and the change to become a skating arena came shortly after the opening of Ice Sheffield in May 2003.
Official opening of Silver Blades Ice Rink, Queens Road, 1965