I have skated since I was 5yrs old on public sessions. I lived walking distance from the Birmingham Silver Blades Ice Rink during the 1970’s.
My parents would take me skating on public sessions which I enjoyed but I longed to have figure staking lessons. The prices of which (£3.25 for half an hour) precluded me from ever having a lesson as a child. The idea of practicing figures on a patch of ice was thrilling and still is!
At Silver Blades in Birmingham I can remember watching pupils in their lessons, if we’d arrived early for a public skate. The figure skating pupils gliding over tracings (figures) they’d created, hearing the shouts of their coaches, disappointed with their fledglings attempts.
One of my idols was John Curry who, trained and skated at Birmingham Silver Blades. I remember a huge portrait hung on the half-landing at the rink which lead to the upstairs cafe. After an hour or so of skating I’d climb these stairs and pause half way admiring the man. I’m headed up the stairs to buy a plate of chips with a dollop of tomato sauce with a can of pop. John Curry’s image was inspiring.
He was born on 9 September 1949 in Birmingham. He was educated at Solihull School, an independent school in the West Midlands, and then at St Andrews, an independent boarding school in Somerset.
As a child, Curry wanted to become a dancer, but his parents disapproved of dance as an activity for boys; Instead, he began to take figure skating lessons under the guidance of Ken Vickers at the Summerhill Road rink in Birmingham.
In the early 1980’s I discovered Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, an ice dance partnership that was the most successful of all time! I didn’t see them compete, however I did witness the splendour of their craft at Wembley Arena in the 1990’s at one of their world tour shows.
As an adult skater I found Lynn Burton and Duncan Lenard at Planet Ice – Solihull. I took up lessons in Ice Dance in 2007, completing the skate excellence course, field move-levels one and two and learning ice dances – levels one to five.