Fife Ice Arena

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Fife Ice Arena
Fife Ice Rink.jpg
Former names Kirkcaldy Ice Rink
Location Rosslyn Street, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, KY1 3HS
Coordinates 56°7′57″N 3°8′4″W / 56.13250°N 3.13444°W / 56.13250; -3.13444Coordinates: 56°7′57″N 3°8′4″W / 56.13250°N 3.13444°W / 56.13250; -3.13444
Owner Kirkcaldy Ice Rink Limited
Capacity Ice Hockey: 3525
Construction
Built 1937
Opened 1938
Architect Williamson & Hubbard
Tenants
Fife Flyers (Elite Ice Hockey League)
Kirkcaldy Junior Ice Hockey Club
Kirkcaldy Ice Skating Club
Curling Clubs that use FIA
Kirkcaldy Curling School
Website
[1]

Fife Ice Arena (originally known as Kirkcaldy Ice Rink) opened in 1938. Kirkcaldy Ice Rink was designed by architects Williamson & Hubbard. Fife Ice Arena is the home venue of the oldest Ice Hockey team in the UK - the Fife Flyers. It is also a venue for public skating, figure skating, speed skating, curling and ice shows. The arena has also hosted concerts, boxing, wrestling, motorcycle ice speedway and other events such as dog shows.

The Fife Free Press dated February 2, 1938, announced 30,000 ordinary shares at 1d each in a proposed new rink in the town—25,000 shares were offered for subscription. On February 17, plans to build the rink in the Gallatown were presented to, and approved by, Kirkcaldy Dean of Guilds Court. The one-storey building contained seating for 4,500 and would cost £37,000 to construct. To put that figure into context the town's fire station, also opened that year, cost £15,000.

The building was to have a carcass of steel stanchions and a roof span of 145 feet without any supporting pillars except those at the extremities, making it the widest construction of its kind in Scotland at the time.

The rink's ground level would consist of an entrance hall, general office, booking office, confectioners and tobacconist, cloakroom with provision for a large restaurant, and a milk bar. Facilities also included dressing rooms with spray baths, while immediately above the entrance was the boardroom, bandstand and manager's office. The plans also had a touch of class—the restaurant featured Parker-Knoll chairs, curtains designed by Dame Laura Knight, as well as monogrammed cutlery.

Much of the work was carried out by local tradesmen, including plumber James Blyth, while the original sound system came from E. Donaldson of Kirk Wynd. The builder was James Ramsay of Leslie, while joiner D. Mitchell & Sons, also of Leslie, worked on the roof.

Location and transportation[edit]

Fife Ice Arena (FIA) is located on Rosslyn Street in the North East area of Kirkcaldy known as Gallatown. FIA is approximately 1 mile from the A92, 2 miles from the railway station and town centre.

Rink Managers[edit]

Date Name Notes
Stuart Robertson
Ronnie Herd
1993–1994 Bob Korol
1979–1993 Jack Dryburgh
Tommy Horne Tommy was the father of Kenny Horne and grandfather of Kyle Horne
1938- J.C. Rolland

History/News/Events[edit]

Other than league ice hockey, skating and curling, other notable events have occurred at Fife Ice Arena over the years. Some of these include, but are not limited to:

Date Event Notes
14 September 2007 Boxing Kevin Anderson vs Francis Jones [2]
27 February 2007 Fire In the early hours of Tuesday 27 February 2007, FIA was badly damaged in a "huge fire." There were, however, no casualties involved, and there are thought to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding the blaze. [3][4]
16 February 2007 Boxing Kirkcaldy local, Kevin Anderson, British & Commonwealth welterweight champion defended his Commonwealth title, only to lose on points against Ali Nuumbembe, who was the first man to defeat the Scot in a professional ring.
11 June 2005 Boxing Kevin Anderson vs Vladimir Borovski [5]
21–27 April 1984 Ice Hockey European Ice Hockey Championship (Junior) Pool C: Belgium (Junior), Great Britain (Junior), Hungary (Junior) and Spain (Junior). Games were played at Kirkcaldy Ice Rink & Murrayfield Ice Rink in Edinburgh.[6][7]
6–12 December 1982 Curling European Curling Championships: The men's championship [8] was won by the Scottish team of Mike Hay [9], David Hay[10], David Smith[11], Russell Keiller [12], while the ladies championship [13] was won by the Swedish team of Elisabeth Högström[14], Katarina Hultling [15], Birgitta Sewik [16], Karin Sjögren [17]
10 August 1981 Concert Thin Lizzy
1966/67 Ice Hockey BBC Grandstand Trophy Final: Fife Flyers defeated Wembley Lions 3-2
1965/66 Ice Hockey BBC Grandstand Trophy Final: Paisley Mohawks defeated Fife Flyers 4-1
28 March 1948 Ice Hockey Fife Flyers 6-5 Royal Canadian Air Force. Fresh from winning the 1948 Olympic Gold medal, the RCAF (Team Canada) played a series of 35 exhibition games around Europe, one against Fife Flyers. Flyers won the game 6-5.[18]
9 December 1947 Ice Hockey Scotland 2-9 England
1 October 1938 Opening Game Fife Flyers debut against Dundee Tigers, unfortunately losing the game 1-4.

Notable NHL/International players[edit]

A number of players with NHL experience have played for Fife Flyers and other British ice hockey teams. Some of the most noted players that have skated at Fife Ice Arena are:

Name British Team(s) NHL/International Team(s) Notes
Garry Unger[19] Dundee Rockets Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings
St. Louis Blues
Atlanta Flames
Los Angeles Kings
Edmonton Oilers
Doug Smail[20] Fife Flyers Winnipeg Jets
Minnesota North Stars
Quebec Nordiques
Ottawa Senators
Al Sims[21] Fife Flyers Boston Bruins
Hartford Whalers
Los Angeles Kings
Laurie Boschman[22] Fife Flyers Toronto Maple Leafs
Edmonton Oilers
Winnipeg Jets
New Jersey Devils
Ottawa Senators
Glen Sharpley[23] Dundee Rockets Minnesota North Stars
Chicago Blackhawks
Mike Blaisdell[24] Durham Wasps
Nottingham Panthers
Sheffield Steelers
Detroit Red Wings
New York Rangers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Toronto Maple Leafs
Jindrich Kokrment [25] Fife Flyers Czechoslovakia National Team World championship and Canada cup gold medalist. Age 30 when he joined Fife Flyers. A centre who played 495 games over 14 seasons in the Czech First National League, scoring 280 goals. He joined the Czech national side in 1973, and won a gold medal at the world championships of 1985, silver in 1982 and bronze in 1981. He also took a gold medal in the Czech side which won the Canada Cup in 1981.
Milan Figala [26] Fife Flyers
Dumfries Border Vikings
Czechoslovakia National Team A world championship silver medalist. Age 32 when he joined Fife Flyers. A defenceman who has played 450 games in the Czech First National League, and 90 games for the Czech National team. He was a member of the side which won the Czech 1981 national championships, and a key man in the HC Jecenica team which won the Jugoslav title. Figala was a silver medalist with the Czech side in the 1980 world championships. Sadly, Milan died 3 November 2000 after a long illness. Milan founded The Anglo-Czech Ice Hockey School which remains one of the best schools of its kind in the world.
Vincent Lukáč[27] Fife Flyers
Streatham Redskins
Czechoslovakia National Team The third all time scorer in Czech international history. Age 33 when he joined Fife Flyers. a winger who has played 550 games in the Czech First National League over 14 years, scoring 390 goals. He has been a member of the Czech national side for 12 years, winning gold medals in the world championships of 1977 and 1985 (when they beat the Russians in their final game), plus silver medals in 1982 and 1983.
Jaroslav Lyčka[28] Dundee Rockets
Lee Valley Lions
Czechoslovakia National Team

Improvements & Upgrades[edit]

Over the years Fife Ice Arena has undergone many changes, upgrades and improvements to the venue including:

Year Event Notes
2011 Plexiglas Plexiglas installed to accommodate requirements for Elite Ice Hockey League ice hockey
Boards
Ice Resurfacer Olympia Ice Refurfacer powered by natural gas replacing the petrol powered Zamboni
Electronic Scoreboard The original analogue hockey clock was replaced with an electronic clock and scoreboard. See images in the gallery section.
Seating Original wooden seating was replaced with modern plastic seats that came from Ibrox Stadium.
Roof Original corrugated asbestos roof replaced
Arena lighting Arena lights were upgraded from incandescent lights
Fife Lounge Major internal construction encasing the East end stands behind a glass facade to provide a luxury area for spectators and sponsors.
Refrigeration Plant
1982 (TBC) Ice Resurfacer A Zamboni replaced the tractor & plough that was used for many years to maintain the ice surface.
Foyer Complete reconstruction of the original foyer to create the current glass ticket office
1979 (TBC) Rink Floor

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  • The Life and Times of Hubert Brooks M.C. C.D [29]
  • Smith, Robin; John R. Hume; Alan Lawson (November 2002). The Making of Scotland: A Comprehensive Guide to the Growth of its Cities, Towns, and Villages. Canongate U.S. ISBN 1-84195-170-6.  Page # 740

External links[edit]