The Twickenham Tribune


The Most Famous Ice Rink in the World

Feature by The Richmond Environmental Information Centre (REIC)

The story of the Ice Rink in East Twickenham seems to be one that will never die. Loved by thousands of skaters over the years, made famous by Torvill and Dean and then its closure - shrouded in mystery. At the moment the rink is a hot topic of conversation on the Strawberry Hill Nextdoor social networking site THE GREATEST ICE RINK IN THE WORLD - WERE YOU THERE?

A few years ago, the Richmond Environmental InformationRichmond Rink Centre (REIC) produced the book: The Most Famous Ice Rink in the World, the result of two years of research in the archives as well as interviewing and recording the stories of skaters from far and wide - funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The REIC also possesses an exhibition of many original photographs which tell the story of the ice rink throughout the years; we have taken these boards to many of the talks we have given to various organisations. Of course, the REIC, a registered charity, has signed permissions from contributors and copyright holders including those who have been interviewed and filmed; we have a large folder full of original, and many exciting, written contributions.

The book also has a collection of some of the photographs donated to the project; other photographs are on the REIC website including one special photograph given to the REIC by Torvill and Dean, who said "The memories of the 70s and 80s are many and it was here Margaret Thatcher came to see us skate, great memories." We are very grateful to Torvill and Dean for their support of the project.

The IceRinx website domain name was originally owned by Richard Meacock who tirelessly campaigned to save the rink in East Twickenham and as a tribute to Richard (we discovered and have read his many diaries) we saved his original website with permission from his solicitor who was an REIC member. Meacock's papers were a great source of information of what really happened to the rink and Council minutes, known as the "Secret Minutes", tell their own illuminating story!

And a rink for Twickenham? As always, the REIC members were keen to re-enact what they had been writing about and two members brought successful community ice rinks to Twickenham for three years but dogged by red tape and conflicting interests there has not been a festive rink for a few years.

It has also come to our notice at the REIC that there seems to be another ice rink book in the pipeline. An email was received yesterday: "It is more the content from the REIC website ( about the Ice Rink which I would like to use, including some of the images". It was said that the book is "well advanced now". Perhaps it would have been appropriate to write to the copyright holder at the outset.REIC

But that is the ice rink in Twickenham - there are many twists and turns.


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