Story: Roller skating and skateboarding

Roller skating rink ticket, 1887

Roller skating rink ticket, 1887

The 1880s were a boom time for roller skating in New Zealand and overseas. Indoor skating rinks opened throughout the country. The bigger rinks, like those operated by the Columbia firm, included spectator seating, refreshment areas and live orchestral music. Most offered lessons, including separate sessions for women.

This is an admission ticket for the Columbia Roller Skating Rink in Ingestre Street (now part of Vivian Street) in Wellington from 1887. As the illustration shows, everyone skated in their everyday clothing, including women in their long, bulky skirts. The skates were strapped onto the skaters' shoes. According to the back of the ticket, admission to the rink was one shilling (about $9 in 2012 values).

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-A-SKATING-1887-01-front

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Roller skating and skateboarding - Roller skating', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 July 2022)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 Sep 2013