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<£\j THE HIPPODROME SKATING RINK. Skating, everyone knows, is far and away the most popular outdoor pastime ever introduced into Great Britain, and whilst we, in this small corner of the globe are able to indulge freely in the pastime about once in every twenty years or thereabouts- we learn through our daily papers when skating is in full swing in the Fen district for the championship, or are more painfully reminded of "King Frost's'' visit by the sensational headings on the posters, or the still more, sensational paper boys cry of "Shocking Ice Acci- dents," so perhaps it is just as well that ice-skating in and about Llandudno is limited. A wave of roller skating is sweeping- over England, and so ideal are the condi- tion in the, rinks under the management of Mr C. P. Crawford, that it is not sur- prising how quickly the public responded to the fascination of rinking at Llan- 1 clu dii o. The ladies—both visitors and residents —in our midst have taken full advantage of the free admission tickets, judging from the crowded state of the "Grand Stand," both afternoon and night. It is true that, the humorous sights attending' the opening night are somewhat few and far between, but now and again an ice skater haps along, and his attempts to begin on rollers where he left off on ice skates are full of painfully sudden awak- enings to himself-unless he is of the pneumatic order—and a source of the keenest enjoyment to the gallery. It is astonishing at what, ages of life skaters can and do enjoy the pastime. The youngest, so far, that has attempted at the Hippo Rink is a, bonnie wee maid of four and a half, the oldest, undoubted- ly an expert ice skater in his day, admits to being seventy-five, and can hold his own with the best. The resident manager, Mr Barnes and his wife, are responsible for the intro- duction as a duett, of the two step time skating, and just now all skaters are striv- ing to follow in their steps. Many ladies there are, who have with surprising facility "caught on" to it, and their skat- ing is followed by envious eyes, and whilst the mere man is also anxious to follow .suit, he is, as a rule, more anxious to learn the mysteries of skating back- ward and other fancy skating, examples of which Mr David Bennett, two- nights per week, Wednesday and Saturday, de- lights the onlookers. Roller skating is somewhat like danc- ing, only more so, that is to say, in a ball-room there are certain formal regu- lations understood and followed—in the roller rink the proceedings -are regulated by a signal board which alternately signals skaters to "Clear Floor," "Skate Slow," "Reverse," "Ladies and Gentle- men Partners," "Ladies Only," etc., etc., according to the will of the Floor Direc- tor. Some printed hints as to the proper construction to. be placed upon these sig- nals might with advantage be posted up. For instance, there are many skaters who on hearing the bell look towards the signal board and read "Clean" for "Clear," and immediately flop down and proceed to carry out the mandate; this has been described by the non-skating on- lookers as unconscious humor. Then again the "Reverse" signal is read by some to mean to go backwards, with results that are not always a success from their point of view, however enter- taining it may be to the spectators. T'he skating for "Ladies and Gentle- men" only is productive of some pretty examples of the advanced, and advancing art of skating, and induces the backward youth to sum up courage to invite a lady friend to try her luck with him, and once having become acquainted with the pleasures of double skating in ordinary, the advancement to the two-step is only a matter of time. Skating for, ladies only, is, I have no doubt, appreciated by those who may be classed amongst the competent skaters, but the new 'beginners hardly dare ven- ture to run the gauntlet of the admiring gaze. Why, some of them ask, do they not have "Gentlemen Only," and. then we should get our own back. This is hardly worth further consideration. I am afraid it would not be popular, especially as time rolls on, and they all become experts. No, ladies, you have obtained the Suffrage of the Skating Rink, and should most jealously guard it as your own particular right. Rinklets for the Rink should be inter- esting, and amongst them might be in- C) cluded:—"Go Slow," Discourage "Brac- ing," "Horse Play," "Tip," etc., etc. One fact is certain, that if the skater is seen by any of the management indulging against the rules, he, or she, will be kindly but firmly pulled up. It is somewhat difficult to advise gentle- men what to do in the case of a lady who has suddenly been seized with a desire to I sit down in the skating track. Should he assist her to her feet? Certainly, if he is capable of doing so, but how many really are. The best advice to such who desire to be gallant is to' watch the attendants closely and see how it is done. How many rash youths have made the attempt without due consideration. They ap- proach the lady in distress as they would had she fallen down in a ball-room, with their feet in the ordinary position, with the result that in nine cases out of ten both the helper and the helped find them- selves once more floundering on the floor, and possibly they have also forced others to join in what appears to be a game of "hunt the slipper" to the uninitiated who may arrive. upon the scene just* as they are all seated. The correct positition of the feet of the gentleman who is attempting to raise a, lady is, the heel of the left foot should be placed in the ball of the right, or vice versa, this gives the helper a safe pur- chase without the fear of being himself pulled over. By way of experiment, and with a view to becoming perfect in the are of gallantry, it would be as well if lessons were taken by gentlemen with one of their own sex. Meanwhile the natural instincts of a gentleman will impel him to assist the first lady he sees in distress, with possibly dire results. In self-de- fence the ladies would be perfectly justi- fied in declining the proferred assistance (unless assurred from previous exper- ience that the gentleman so offering his services was an adept) and waiting until they wereofficiaHy raised to their feet; the wait is never long, and the manage- ment might 'with equal truth add to their statement, "If you would be graceful learn to skate," the equally truthful remark. If you would be treated with the utmost courtesy patronise the Hippodrome Skat- ing Rink. Some rumours have been freely cir- culated that the prices for rinking are shortly to be raised; this is not so. On Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Mon- day the ladies free admission tickets will be suspended, but in return for this, free admission will be extended to them until the first of June or thereabouts, and there is some talk of a Cinderella, on May 13th, when an extra charge will be made for both ladies and gentlemen, but be- yond that there is absolutely no intention of altering the existing rates for admis- sion or skating; and this statment is on the authority of Mr Barnes, the resident manageir. Mr Robert Twiddell is the genial pro- prietor of the Hippodrome Tea and Re- freshment Rooms, and his catering is in every way of the highest excellence. During the coming season Mr Twiddell contemplates! making extensive alterations and addding up-to-date attractions by Whitsuntide, amongst them being tea. gardens.


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