Tyne and Wear HER(16865): Whitley Bay, ice rink - Details
Whitley Bay, ice rink
Opened by Alderman Snowball, mayor, in May 1955. The building is grey. Built by Gunning & Co of Newcastle. One of only three ice rinks built in Britain in the 1950s. In 1958 the rink staged tennis, in 1959 international netball. Between 1982 and 1996 the rink hosted concerts and ice shows by Torvill and Dean. In 1995 there was a middleweight boxing match between Chris Eubank and Jose Ignacio Barruetabena of Spain. The ice rink is home to Whitley Warriors ice hockey team. Whitley Bay's original ice hockey team in 1956 was the Wasps (transferred from Durham). In 1957 the Bees arrived. In 1963 the Wasps returned to Whitley Bay. In 1966 the Warriors emerged and the Wasps returned to Durham. A tenpin bowling alley was added at the far end of the rink, reducung the number of seats from 3500 to 3200. In 1995 the Warriors moved to the new Metro Arena in Newcastle. In 1996 they returned to Whitley Bay. In 2011 the Newcastle Vipers moved from the Metro Arena to Whitley Bay. The ice rink is also home to Whitley Bay Ice Skating Club. Former members include figure skating champions Lorna Brown, Joanne Conway and Matthew Parr.
Lynn Pearson, 2010, Played in Tyne and Wear - Charting the heritage of people at play, p 63