Richmond Ice Rink
|Richmond Ice Rink|
|Location||Clevedon Road, Twickenham, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames|
Richmond Ice Rink was an ice skating rink at Clevedon Road, Twickenham, formerly in Middlesex and now in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It replaced a roller-skating rink at the same location, which had been built before the First World War on lands originally donated by George, Duke of Cambridge, "for leisure purposes" and which had been requisitioned during the war for use as an armaments factory operated by Belgian industrialist Charles Pelabon. After the war the site became derelict and was eventually sold to Charles Langdon who had developed the ice rink at Hammersmith.
Joachim von Ribbentrop, appointed German Ambassador to Britain in 1936, bought a house next door to the ice rink; his hobby was ice dancing and he reputedly spent his evenings skating and socialising at the rink. He was appointed German foreign minister in 1938 and was later executed for war crimes following the Nuremberg Trials in 1946.
At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 the rink was ordered to close but the American Embassy persuaded the British Government to allow it to reopen as many American servicemen had skated and played ice hockey at the rink.
Arnold Gerschwiler was head coach at the Richmond Ice Rink from 1938 and was made director in 1964 until its demolition in 1992. Betty Callaway, best known for coaching Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, the 1984 Olympic ice-skating champions, became a skating coach at the rink in 1950.
The rink was sold in 1978 to a property developer, who kept it running until 1987, when it was bought by another property company, the London and Edinburgh Trust, then chaired by John Beckwith and his brother Peter, who intended to develop the site for luxury housing. The planning consent stipulated that the company had to construct a new rink on an alternative site in the borough. In 1989, Richmond upon Thames Council accepted £2.5 million as compensation and withdrew this condition. In 1992, the rink closed and the building was demolished. No replacement rink has been built.
- The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Local Studies Volunteer Support Group (2013). The Building of a Borough. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. pp. 59–61.
- "'The best ice rink in the world'". Richmond and Twickenham Times. 19 August 2005. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- "Richmond Ice Rink: From “leisure centre” to luxury apartments in Twickenham". Twickenham Museum. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Gareth A Davies (14 February 2002). "Ice Skating: Richmond quintet find new homes have replaced their old haunt". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- Chris Blackhurst (28 July 1996). "Tory fund-raiser blamed for loss of town ice rink". The Independent on Sunday (London). Retrieved 28 April 2013.