Brighton Ice Rink

Top Rank Poster
From the private collection of Trevor Chepstow

Top Rank, the final owners of the Sports Stadium, promised the town would have a new ice rink when the old rink was demolished in 1965.

Very small rink
The new ice rink was to be housed in the new “Kingswest” complex at the bottom of West Street. The rink was minuscule compared with the old rink and no provisions were made to feature ice spectaculars or to allow for a base for the well-known “Brighton Tigers” Ice Hockey Team.

A financial disaster
Unfortunately the ice rink turned out to be a financial disaster and was converted into another cinema unit, leaving the town without an ice rink for the next thirty years odd!

Comments about this page

  • Ice hockey was played at the Top Rank rink however. I was a member of the Sussex Ice Hockey Club and we practiced on a Tuesday night after the regular evening session. This was around 1970. The lack of spectator accommodation and having no barrier (just a step up from the ice) meant that full-blown matches could not be staged but the club did play away games. I recall playing against Solihull Barons.  Starting at 11pm it was our job to clean the ice (done the old-fashioned way with a tractor, plough and box which I think were inherited from the Sports Stadium; the rink didn’t have a modern Zamboni) and we then played through to about 2am. I lived near Streatham and had to work the following day of course so I didn’t get much sleep on those nights.

    By Andy Jackson (25/04/2007)
  • “Unfortunately the ice rink turned out to be a financial disaster and was converted into another cinema unit, leaving the town without an ice rink for the next thirty years odd”

    The above section of the article isn’t very accurate. The Sussex Ice Rink at the top of Queen’s Square (though small) ran for many years. My father managed it for a while and I was frequently pressed into service there.

    By Brian Combe (23/10/2008)
  • I love skating and we really want to get a rink back in Brighton, please go to
    and add this page if interested
    cheers 🙂

    By Abi (11/03/2009)
  • Please join this Facebook group we are trying to get financial backing to open a ice rink similar to the one that was at sussex square.

    By Debbie Upton (30/12/2009)
  • I worked at the new ice rink when it first opened. I pretended I could skate. It didn’t take long to bring this into effect. It was a great job, although staff seemed to pass swiftly through.

    By John Greeves (22/07/2010)
  • Keep Sussex Skating Association Front line for the skaters since 1988. Presently we are working with the City Council on new ice strategy for. plus a stop gap ice rink in Hove – For further info:

    By Patricia Ginman (05/09/2011)
  • I do not know what size the old pre Top Rank Ice Rink was, but I trained at Streatham before moving to Brighton where I skated and practiced at the Top Rank arena from 1969 until it closed and it was no smaller than the other rinks that I trained at. But I do agree about the lack of seats for people. But it did not seem much of a problem as there were barrel jumping and stunt jumping competitions as well as figure skating shows and comps held there.

    By Steve Muteham (30/10/2016)
  • I’ve skated at all three ice rinks. I learned to skate at SS Brighton, the Brighton Tigers rink and remember it with affection. I used to motor down from Tunbridge Wells with friends and spend an evening, some of the time on my skates and some of the time on my backside. It was an ideal place to learn to skate because the rink was surrounded by a barrier which provided confidence and safety. The ice was kept in good condition with some sort of scraping machine but could get a bit wet towards closing time. They used to play hit tunes by The Beetles and The Stones. After using skate hire once or twice I bought my own, which I still have, happy times.
    I remember the Top Rank rink because I went there with a girlfriend I later wanted to marry. The rink was not equal to the one it replaced . The rink had a carpeted surround with no barrier which meant that learners needed support from a skater. Leaving the ice was also difficult to avoid tripping landing in a heap on the carpet. I never considered going there often because I didn’t like the design of the place – it wasn’t skater friendly. I think they probably wanted to sell drinks to those who wanted to watch. People who wanted to skate fast were often mixed with very green learners.
    Around the 80s I took my boys to learn how to skate at The Sussex Ice Rink. It was a great disappointment. It wasn’t the size of the rink but the fact that the surface of the ice was knobbly. Learning to skate there was almost impossible because of the condition of the ice. This was caused by condensation from the roof dripping onto the ice and freezing into tiny lumps. We were told that Torvill & Dean were using it for practice, but we knew it was a tall tale and it looked as if the place was having a hard time.

    By Mike T (27/02/2021)

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