John Nike Leisure Sport Ice Rink, Frogmore St, Bristol
45 years of skating history was brought to an end as Bristol Ice Rink closed its doors for the final time.
The popular venue in Frogmore Street hosted its last skaters for a farewell Halloween party yesterday before a planned redevelopment into student flats by owner Unite.
Bristol-based student accommodation specialist Unite wants to redevelop the 1960s building which houses the ice rink because it claims it is no longer viable.
It had considered including a smaller ice rink as part of the redevelopment but the idea was abandoned in June.
We’d been looking at this one for a while, and this time, for the first time, it would seem luck was on our side.
After a long week, this was certainly a rewarding way to end it. Think what you want of it, some would say this isn’t particularly interesting and just a massive derp, but personally I found it fascinating to see and completely worth it too. Having visited the rink a couple of times when I was younger, it brought back some vague memories.
The place really was in a right state, but then again it was in a state before it closed and indeed for the last however many years it was in use too. That being said, the people of Bristol were still very unhappy at its closure. It did seem to be attracting a large amount of visitors still, which makes you question the closure further.
There was some evidence here and there of it being a cinema in its previous years, but this was mostly gone.
We also found what looks like an old night club, way up in the higher level, which looks like builders briefly moved in once, set up some lights and put some office desks around, then left. I didn’t take any pictures up in those parts, as we didn’t fancy having to pay parking fines so had to be off. That being said, there isn’t too much of interest as it’s all been fairly trashed. It was still interesting to see all that above the ice rink, a place where people mostly likely haven’t been for years.
Towards the end of 2013, permission was finally granted to build a brand new student accommodation complex on the site of the disused ice rink. Demolition started and didn’t take long!