Olympia Roller Skating Rink

hosted by

Oakwood Church Leeds

Home Walk Around The Clock

On 18 September 1909 in the midst of a huge craze the huge Olympia Roller Skating Rink opened, billed as “The Finest Rink in England”

At 9 p.m. on the 30 September 1909 the Olympia hosted a performance from John F. Davidson “undisputed world’s champion and fancy skater” a well known American acrobatic and trick skater who at that time was famous throughout the world for his “high and broad jumping” and speed skating. One of his popular acts included skating on custom made three feet tall ‘stilt skates!’

By 1912 the ‘rinking’ craze was firmly in decline. Several rinks elsewhere had closed and Olympia looked for ways to diversify

In August 1912 the Leeds Industrial Exhibition was hosted. In 1913 Olympia started to host boxing and it was reported that Olympia would host the Church Missionary Society ‘Missionary Exhibition’ a huge Wesleyan Methodist exhibition on all aspects of life in ‘Africa and the East’

Skating still took place but sessions were much reduced and before World War One began in 1914 Olympia had closed

Fortunately this failed business left behind a huge building with minimal internal supporting pillars, which proved ideal for Robert Blackburn to assemble aircraft; and there was adjacent space for the vast factory expansion that followed




Roller Skating at the Olympia Skating Rink PDF 0.3 Mb

by James Ogden


 Olympia Works



More Local History Oakwood Clock

Oakwood Church Leeds