Reunion for former users of Sheffield ice rink Silver Blades

The former Silver Blades Ice Rink on Queens Road
The former Silver Blades Ice Rink on Queens Road
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A former ice hockey coach has called for former users of Sheffield's Silver Blades ice rink to come together to share their memories at the venue.

Craig Webster, who ran the former Sheffield Scimitars team before becoming head coach of Sheffield Ice Hockey Academy for 21 years, is hoping to hold the reunion at some point in the next few weeks.

Ice skaters enjoy a public session at the venue.

Ice skaters enjoy a public session at the venue.

He said he missed the Queens Road venue, which opened in 1965 and became the Skate Central roller skating arena in 2005.

Craig said: "We just want to try and get a big photo in the car park and get as many people together that used to use the venue as possible.

"It'll then be up to people whether they want to go roller skating or for something to eat or drink afterwards.

"The rink was proper old school and a place where everybody looked after each other.

Sheffield Lasers under-12s ice hockey team pictured at the rink in August 1993.

Sheffield Lasers under-12s ice hockey team pictured at the rink in August 1993.

"We could send an under-10 kid on a session with the under-16s and you knew that one of the older kids would look after them. It was a bit like one big family."

The venue used to run public ice skating sessions, as well as hosting junior and senior ice hockey matches, speed skating and figure skating.

Its senior team - Sheffield Scimitars - were a semi-professional team, which Craig set up in 1986.

Craig, who now runs the Royal Standard pub, off St Mary's Road, added: "I finished with the Scimitars when I took over the juniors in 1991 but originally the team were an under-16s team who all got too old and there was no under-18s or under-19s league so they moved straight up to under-21s before going on to play in the English National Ice Hockey League Division One.

"But the invite is open to everyone who used the rink - not just those who played hockey. Figure skaters, speed skaters, session skaters are all welcome - the more the merrier."

The venue closed as an ice rink in 2003, just after the opening of Ice Sheffield.

Craig said a date for the reunion was yet to be finalised but he hoped to hold it at some point around the Spring Bank Holiday.

n Ice skating fan Michael Siddall is appealing for people to also share their memories for a book he is writing.

You can contact him, care of Julia Armstrong by email on julia.armstrong@jpress.co.uk