My Memories

Along with many thousand others I started skating when Charles Knott opened the Sportsdome Ice Rink in 1952.  I was then 14 years old.  Under the watchful eye of Mr Knott and his ice-skating instructors Thelma King, Audrey Bailey and Frank Clegg I was encouraged to progress through the various skating grades and tests and was eventually proud to represent Southampton at the British Ice Dance Championships in 1957 with my then partner Ann Langford when we were awarded a Bronze medal in the British Junior Ice Dance Championship and a Silver medal in the Free Dance Competition. 

I was also privileged to produce and direct a total of nine Ice Shows and Galas for the club and subsequent owners, Mecca Leisure and the Top Rank Organisation, until the untime¬ly closure of the ice rink in 1988.

I well remember Chris Dempsey and his team of scenery painters working their magic in the disused Bowling Alley late at night, claiming it was haunted by ghosts.

Also the long hours spent by Joan Main and Margery Rowe, together with many helpers in producing numerous spectacular costumes.

The memories of these Competitions and special events are still strong in the minds of all who took part and have helped to maintain a strong bond within the skating fraternity of Southampton and the Southampton Ice Dance & Figure Skating Club of which I was a founder member and of which I am proud to be Vice President. 

Brian Cox



Multi-talent comes with Deja-Vu

MEMBERS of Déjà vu, the adult ice skating team at Basingstoke ice rink, have proved they are multi-talented recently.

Eileen Long has just penned her first novel, writing in her maiden name of Eileen de Lisle.

And Déjà vu member, Pam Capewell, has just won a holiday award for her skiing prowess.

Eileen said: “I have wanted to write his story for about 20 years and have only just found the time to do it.”

The fictional piece, Nine Betts Lane, is based on true family events and spans three generations of a family. It begins in 1900 and ends in 1962.

Long is currently working on the sequel, which brings events up to 2000.

Pam Capewell had to go further afield for her recognition.

During a spell in Oberau, in the Austrian Tyrl, she won the women’s ski-school race, a timed slalom with a 30-strong field.

Her winner’s trophy pronounces her Fastest Lady in the Valley.

[Photo caption: Pam Capewell, left, with her trophy and Eileen de Lisle with her book.]
[Transcript & Photo: Basingstoke Gazette]