Did you know? Great Yarmouth had a permanent indoor ice rink

Ice skating at the Tower on the seafront in Great Yarmouth

Ice skating at the Tower on the seafront in Great Yarmouth - Credit: Mercury Library

Occasionally I mention here that my pen-name of Peggotty, taken from a character in a Charles Dickens novel centred on Yarmouth, was chosen in the Thirties when this column was launched in our companion newspaper, the Eastern Evening News. Another Dickens creation was Ebenezer Scrooge, the miser who abhorred Christmas.

The name Scrooge was being muttered hereabouts a few weeks ago when some disappointed townsfolk were critical of the borough council for - by one casting vote - deciding not to bring back to the Market Place the ice-skating rink enjoyed by 11,000-plus people of all ages last Christmas. It had been an expensive novelty despite its popularity, apparently.

At one time, half a century ago, there was a permanent indoor ice rink in Yarmouth - well, permanent if a 19-month duration merits the description. In February 1966 the 5,000sq ft rink was the latest addition to the new Tower Building on our Golden Mile. There to give it a try were some of the local people whose roller-skating prowess had earned them success in major competitions at home and abroad, among them former world champions Pat and Brian Colclough (left).