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Advert for the Central Skating Rink

Advert for the Central Skating Rink

Printer: Unknown

Medium: Print on paper

Date: 1891

Shelfmark: Evan.4344

Item number: 4344

Genre: Leaflet

The Grand Central Skating Rink opened at Central Hall in Holborn in the winter of 1876. It quickly became popular with the aspiring Victorian middle class (see the prominent caveat half-way down the leaflet: "Only the best people are desired").

Roller skates were invented by Joseph Merlin in the 1760s, who infamously wore them to a society ball in London. They enabled him to make a grand entrance, gliding gracefully across the hall, but, in the absence of brakes, he could not turn or stop. Mr Merlin thus crashed into a large mirror suffered serious injuries. The first skating rink in Britain opened in Brighton in 1874, and soon "rinkomania" spread across the country.

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