I used to go roller skating three times a week at the Gliderdrome, when I was in my late teens, also after my National Service. One particular night stands out. I was skating backwards when I fell over someone who was already on the deck. I came down such a cropper and my knee went through the Asbestos floor. I thought I had broken my knee, I crawled to the side and sat on a form nursing my knee, very embarrassed.
Attendants quickly put a table over the hole, and a well known character named Stan Griggs sat on the table the rest of the night, waving skaters by.
Christmas time there would be a large net in the roof full of balloons. Christmas-eve at the end of the night, they would release them on the skaters, who would punch them all over the place and burst them with their skates.
All good things come to and end, when one Sunday morning we heard loud bangs, and saw smoke in the air. We knew it was a fire. I thought it was a large wooden warehouse opposite the Doughty Quay in South Street. I hastily put some clothes on, jumped on my bike to see what was happening. It was the Gliderdrome all ablaze, the exploding asbestos was deafening. I was there before the fire brigade, plus a man and his wife who I knew very well, who came off Windsor Bank. The brigade came but it was gutted. How a place made up of asbestos went up so quick, make no sense. The houses close by had their clothes post in their gardens lit at the top just like candles.
A memory shared byon Dec 16th, 2010.
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