In the mood for Rink revival

The Rink Revival at the Borough Hall on the Headland
The Rink Revival at the Borough Hall on the Headland

A PIECE of Hartlepool history was brought back to life as part of the town’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The Queens Rink was re-created for a one-off day of dancing yesterday at the Borough Hall, on the Headland.

Betty Brotherston

Betty Brotherston

The Rink, which was located in Clarence Road, was built in 1910, and after initially being used as a skating rink and a boxing venue, it quickly became a popular haunt for dancing before it closed in 1968.

But yesterday’s ‘re-opening’ gave folks the chance to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about time gone by.

And for one visitor, 90-year-old Betty Brotherston (pictured inset), the memories came flooding back.

Mrs Brotherston, who was Hartlepool’s Mayoress in 1968, when her brother Bill Iseley was Mayor, said: “My days at the rink were just before the Second World War.

“Then of course, I attended the Rink just after that, but by then I had been away in the Army and had a family.

“All the menfolk that were there, especially from the collieries, were very good dancers.

“It was ballroom dancing back then, then all this bopping and rock ‘n’ roll came along.

“There was always a dance going on at the Town Hall and people’s parents had this impression that that was more select than the Rink.”

She remembers dancing to the music of the Benny Nelson band, as well as live performances from top singer Chic Henderson.

Mrs Brotherston, a former magistrate who turns 91 on Friday, still goes dancing and was one of a number of residents of the Hartfields Retirement Village, who were asked to take part in the Rink Revival by artist Neil Armstrong.

The mother to Olwyn Henry, Elaine Noble and Wendy Reeve and grandmother-of four, who has three great-grandchildren, said it was about a shilling to get into the rink, which had “one of the best floors in the North of England”.

● Would you like to share your Queens Rink memories? Write to Tom Collins, Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool TS24 8BX or email

● See more photos in Wednesday’s Mail. To order photos visit photo orders or telephone photosales on (01429) 239408.