A brief history

Cover of programme for Brighton Tigers ice hockey match, October 1950
From the private collection of Trevor Chepstow

In the latter part of 1935 a new phenomena was about to change the fortunes of the Sports Stadium. For the first time in the history of Brighton the town was to have its own ice hockey team, called the Brighton Tigers.

Tigers in the heart
The people of Brighton immediately took the Tigers to their hearts, with as many as four thousand people turning up for the game on a Thursday evening. The roar of the crowd could be heard half way up West Street, as the supporters cheered their home team on to victory. The first official match was on Thursday the 24th of October 1935 against the Richmond Hawks, who they beat 4-2. The Brighton Tigers went on to dominate the game of ice hockey as champions for many years to come.

The 1935 team was composed of manly Canadians, as the game of ice hockey was relatively unknown in Britain at the time. This would eventually turn out to be the norm, as very few Englishmen were to attain the very high standards achieved by the Canadian players. One of the outstanding players of the 1935 team was a Canadian called Jimmy Borland. Under the watchful eye and guidance of coach Percy Nicklin, he went on to represent Great Britain in the 1936 Olympics.

Gordie Poirior – Fresh hot Canadian talent
The Tigers, clad in their familiar black and yellow kit, continued to pack the crowds into the rink, right up until the beginning of World War II. They were particularly admired by the local girls and very soon had their own fan clubs. With dashing good looks, Gordie Poirior was the star of the Tigers, newly arrived from Montreal, where he was crowned Champion of Champions. The crowds would scream the roof down as he scored one goal after another, leaving the opposing team players in total disarray.

Bobby Lee – A new hero
But Gordie’s days as the Tigers’ star were numbered when a new player called Bobby Lee joined the team in 1936. Bobby Lee was to be the new hero of the Brighton Tigers, with his dark good looks and amazing hockey skills. The crown remained Bobby’s for many years to come, as he went on to become captain and coach. Bobby Lee will be remembered in the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame, as one of the few men in the history of British Ice Hockey to score four hundred points in his career.

Anyone requiring further information regarding the Sports Stadium and the Brighton Tigers can contact Trevor Chepstow at ssbrighton@hotmail.com

Comments about this page

  • My father, John Yanchuk, played in Brighton during the 59-60 season. I’m hoping to source some team photos from that year. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    By Robert Yanchuk (11/05/2004)
  • I was amember of the Supporters Club from 1948-1956.Standing used to cost 2/-. We used to take a stool to stand on. There was a great atmosphere in the Stadium.

    By Dennis Andrews (11/06/2004)
  • My father (Daniel Adler, recently passed away at 87 years old) was a Canadian from Montreal Canada. His best friend as a child was a former Tiger named Billy Booth. My father always talked about what an outstanding player Booth was. Recently I found pictures of Booth and newspaper clippings in my father’s closet. My father stated,’he could have been great in the’. My father always kept in touch with Billy who passed away in Newcastle. Does anyone remember this former Tiger?

    By Adam Adler (13/12/2004)
  • Jimmy Borland was my Dad’s uncle I. Any pictures of James Andrew Borland would be greatly appreciated. Also if anyone wants info on him my Dad might be able to help. We are in Montreal, Canada.

    By Darryl Borland (22/02/2005)
  • Bill Booth was my Grandad, who I sadly never met as he died the year before I was born. If anyone has any information or pictures of him, or if you knew him – please could you contact me at: adamusminimus@hotmail.com Thank you everyone. Adam

    By Adam Gregory (10/04/2005)
  • I watched the Tigers in the late 1940s and early 1950s and remember Bobby Lee, Gib Hutchinson, Lorne Trottier, Al Truelove, Lee Thorne and so many others, plus the great ‘local boy’ Mike O’Brien. I Watched Wembley Monarchs and Lions, Harringay Racers and Greyhounds, Streatham, Nottingham Panthers, Streatham, Earls Court Rangers and eventually all the Scots teams. They were great days and one can only hope that the new development scheduled for Black Rock will bring us back our Tigers !

    By Philip Lovell (13/04/2005)
  • My Grandfather, Ross Sinclair, played for the tigers in the 60-61 season. I have a few photos and if anyone wants me to send them a copy email me a dexsinclair@hotmail.com

    By Dexter Sinclair (29/05/2005)
  • I have a number of old letters that appear to have been written about the Brighton Tigers in 1936/7/8 – by someone who signed his name only as Don. I would like to know how to access a team roster to check if this is the right team – he gave the stadium as his address and at least one letter is written on Sports Stadium Letterhead – can anyone help with a roster or other information?

    By Katharine Kelly (18/07/2005)
  • I am very interested to read that Robert Yanchuk is looking for pictures of his dad. If you read this Robert, I have the 59/60 team picture with him and 2 good individual pictures of him in the Tigers strip as well. If you contact Trevor Chepstow I am sure he will put you in touch with me and I can send you Jpegs. John came to Tigers as a defence man that season, but found himself playing forward. He was a very hard worker on the ice and a very effective forechecker. I have some strong memories of him scoring some great goals for us. What great days! Please get in touch Robert!

    By Pete Wickham (02/09/2005)
  • I lived in Victoria Street in 1940 and at the bottom of the street, on the right hand side was a big white house. It is still there today but then was called the Kitcat Club. It was owned by Barry Rice. Most afternoons all the Canadian ice hockey players would be drinking in there and by the evening would be worst for wear. They would throw hands full of money from the windows to see the kids fighting for it. Does anyone remember this?

    By J. Summerfield (03/10/2005)
  • It was interesting to read the comments on Brighton Tigers. One team member not mentioned so far was Gib Hutchinson, goalminder and another Canadian I believe. Sunday mornings I occasionally skated with Bobby Lee Junior, son of the Tigers captain.

    By John Sullivan (15/12/2005)
  • Dear Grandson Adam, I have several photos of your grandfather (Bill Booth) and letters that my father (Danny Adler) kept in a box. I would be happy to share some copies of the photos with you.

    By Adam Adler (04/04/2006)
  • I am still hoping to get a contact from Robert Yanchuck. As I previously posted on this page I have several good pictures of him in his Tigers team strip. Since the last posting I have recently moved home and changed my e-mail. If you see this Robert please contact Trevor Chepstow, who I am sure will put us in contact. I do hope you can find this message as I would like you to see the pictures of your dad from his time with our Tigers.

    By Pete Wickham (13/06/2006)
  • At the age of 14 I was there on the Tigers’ final night, before the rink was closed down. The team was British then of course but I did encounter some of the Canadian legends – particularly those that went on to run pubs. Bobby Lee was a wonderful publican. He would never give you 1p or 2p change – always a box of matches. I’ve heard it said that some of the Canadian Tigers were killed in the Dieppe Raid – is this true? If so, are they buried near Dieppe, because I would like to pay homage next time I am over there?

    By Mike Gilbert (27/07/2006)
  • My dad played for the Brighton Tiger Cubs from the late 50s to early 60s. If anyone has any pictures from this era can they please let me know. My dad’s name was Peter Brooker.

    By Andrew Brooker (05/08/2006)
  • My parents were avid supporters of Brighton Tigers in the late 1930’s and 1940’s. They became very good friends with a lot of the players.  Does anyone remember Frank and Rosa Larkin?

    By Judi Lunt (04/10/2006)
  • I was at the last Tigers game and remember being given a tigers tail (then being issued by ESSO) and the team being given a standing ovation at the end. Not a dry eye in the house as Sussex by the Sea was played. I remember the names of Roy Sheppard and Rupe Fresher and those epic tussles with Paisley Mowhawks.

    By Roy Sexton (15/12/2006)
  • My Dad played for the Tigers, please note that he has always made it clear that he never quite cracked it top style! (Sorry Dad)  But I grew up with many of the players here in Peacehaven where many settled and only last month ex-Tiger Canadian Bob McNeil stayed with my parents. Mike O’Brien (still Peacehaven), Rupe Fresher (between Perth, Australia and Canada at the moment), John Cook (still local), Nipper Millard (Cyprus), Roy Yates (RIP), Nobby Richardson and I bet I have missed a few. Hey if you have any photos of this era please let me know, I know my Dad has a few great pics too. I guess the era was the 50s and 60s.

    By Matthew Wiltshire (18/12/2006)
  • Message for Darryl Borland. I am writing a book about the 1936 Olympics and would love some info on Jimmy Borland. I also have some photos you can have. Please get in touch here or via robj@innotts.co.uk

    By Rob Jovanovic (11/04/2007)
  • I am compiling a book on the members of the British Ice Hall of Fame to be published later this year. Jimmy Borland is a member and I would be grateful if Darryl could contact me via Trevor Chepstow as I want to ensure the facts of his life are correct.

    By Martin C. Harris (14/04/2007)
  • So many happy memories of watching the Tigers at the old Sports Stadium. I was lucky enough to have been a season ticket holder for the whole of the Tigers last season in 1964 thanks to my two older brothers treating their horrible little 11 year old brother. It is very hard to explain just how electric the atmosphere was on Sunday nights in the SS – the noise, the excitement and the smell! (Not a bad smell, just one that seemed to be unique to the SS, never smelt it anywhere else.)  My family had a couple of links to the Tigers: Gib Hutchinson used to be our neighbour on the Upper Shoreham Road for a few years (late 50s / early 60s) and my mother used to work at the Metal Box factory in Fishersgate with Jacky Dryburgh, a great Scottish forward. It was criminal that such a great Brighton sporting institution, as the Tigers truly were, was allowed to die out.  My older brother, who now lives in Canada, has a very large scrapbook about the Tigers with many old Argus photos and clippings as well as a lot of match programmes. If anyone would like information about the Tigers then I’m sure he would be only too happy to help them out. Please contact me and I will put you in touch with him.

    By Leigh Sturgeon (01/08/2007)
  • With reference to my previous comment I obviously meant 1965 as the Tigers last season, not 1964 (it’s my age you know). Oh and I’ve just remembered one of the chants from Sunday nights in the SS:
    “I see ice, I see ice, who’s the best team on the ice?
    T-I-G-E-R-S Tigers, here them rooooaarr”.
    I’ve also been trying to remember as many names as I can of the Tigers last line up, I got to ten, does anyone know if I’ve missed anybody out?

    Ray (Podge) Partridge
    Red Imrie
    Roy Shepard
    John Cook
    Rupe Fresher
    John Rost
    John Baxter
    Roy Yeats
    Jackie Dryburgh
    Bob Mcneill

    By Leigh Sturgeon (18/08/2007)
  • I never smelt that smell again till I went to Peterborough Pirates and I don’t think I will again Smoke and Ice ??

    By Chris (14/10/2007)
  • Who can forget the referee who officiated at many Tigers matches – Ernie Leacock. Ernie was somewhat bald and the fans used to shout the tag line of a TV advert for shampoo current at the time: “Who’s the girl with the beautiful hair?” To which the crowd would roar: “Lea – cock!”
    I was one of a number of displaced Streatham fans who switched their allegiance to Tigers after Streatham rink was poncified in 1962 and any hint of hockey banned there. We would drive down, stop off for breakfast at the transport cafe on the A23 at Pease Pottage, skate in the afternoon and watch the match in the evening. If I hear the Beatles ‘Hard Day’s Night’ album and especially the track ‘I Should Have Known Better’, I’m immediately taken back to the SS, the mist rising from the ice that was sometimes so dense you couldn’t see across the ice, the blue exhaust from the old Landrover that towed the plough and box to clean the ice, and I can still smell that smell; the musty, damp, rotting wood smell that was always in the background. Truly happy days.

    By Andy Jackson (20/10/2007)
  • Further to the posting above, the team for the final match (against Paisley Mowhawks) was:
    1 Ray Partridge (Goal)
    2 Roy Shepherd (Alt Capt)
    3 Red Imrie
    4 John Cook
    5 Roy Yates
    6 Bob McNeil
    7 Jackie Dryburgh
    8 John Rost
    9 John Baxter
    10 Bob Ketcher
    11 Harry Pearson
    12 Rupe Fresher (Capt)
    2nd Goalkeeper: Roger Turner
    Trainer: Nipper Millard
    Referees were E Leacock and J Flynn.

    I still have my programme from that emotional night, signed by all the team. The Tigers won 9-4.

    By Andy Jackson (05/12/2007)
  • The final match – the Tigers were re-formed for a final farewell at Wembley Ice Rink sometime in 1968 I think. I was a student in Manchester and met up with friends and family from Brighton. As I recall the Tigers were about 6-1 down with about 15 minutes to go but won 8-7 or 8-6 . It was amazing, but in the pub afterwards we wondered if the Lions, the old enemy, had decided to give us a very emotional finale. Sunday nights at the old ice rink were tremendous entertainment. Seeing Andy’s team list brought back many happy memories – and also the punch ups with the Paisely Pirates and Mohawks!

    By Graham Falconer (25/04/2008)
  • I just came across about 100 different programmes from Wembley area for different sporting events and musicals (hockey, football, dog races, car races, etc) from the 1930s.  Pretty interesting stuff – wondering if anyone is interested?

    By Mike Bray (23/05/2008)
  • Hi my sister was married to a Canadian whose brother was a Tigers player, but I don’t know much about him except his surname was Vasey…. Does anyone remember him?

    By Brent Dsrtnell (05/06/2008)
  • Hi there from Australia –
    I especially remember great Tigers goalie “Gib” Hutchinson from the ’50s (I used to be an Earl’s Court Rangers fan). The Olympic champions of that era were the RCAF team, and when they played Streatham in an exhibition match I went to watch, their goaltender had been injured and they invited Hutchinson to play for them.

    By Mike Montague (05/06/2008)
  • My grandad Roy Yates played in the 50’s – 60’s era for Brighton Tigers and Southampton. If anyone has any photos please can I have a look. Thank you Wes.

    By Wesley Sleat (30/08/2008)
  • My grandad played for the Tigers. His name was Roy Harnett (he unfortunately passed away nearly ten years ago now). I have found one picture of him online and would love to see more if anyone has any. I know he was in the team 1949-1951. We have a few photos and lots of trophies still.

    By Gary Bryan (04/09/2008)
  • Hi Folks, nice to see all your comments about the famous ‘Brighton Tigers’. Readers will be interested to know I have a massive photo collection of the ‘Tigers’ and virtually every team photo from 1935-65 and much more! You can contact me on ‘ssbrighton@hotmail’ with any questions you may have. Hopefully I can answer them.

    By Trevor Chepstow - Sports Stadium Brighton Archive (19/09/2008)
  • Sorry folks, typing error! Email address: ssbrighton@hotmail.com

    By Trevor Chepstow (20/09/2008)
  • My Father Godfrey John Marks (unfortunately passed away), played for the Brighton Tigers, as we did not get to see much of one another, I wondered if any one had any pictures of him, as I am trying to compile a scrapbook of my family.

    By Penny Ginn (23/09/2008)
  • I came across this site by accident and was quite surprised to see all the information on the Brighton Tigers. My Dad, Ross Kelly, played for the Brighton Tigers in 1957-1958. Over the years my Dad has told us many stories about playing for the Brighton Tigers. I know he will be thrilled to see this website.

    By Karen Kelly (10/10/2008)
  • Hi, I was a fan of Streatham Royals. One of my friends Jill married Rupert Fresher. Nipper (Clive) Millard lived in the same road as me and we were pretty friendly but then paths diverged and I met him again when he was admin at the National Skating Association. I also gave Streatham a miss when they made it figures only – but went back when the policy changed! I ended up running the speed club and the Association of Clubs at Streatham and realised my own dream to play hockey in 1981 when we formed the Streatham Strikers. Brighton also was able to ice a good women’s team – Brighton Amazons – we even played a match at the Sussex Ice Club! One of our 1st line was checked and nearly ended up outside!

    By Lyn Guest de Swarte (28/05/2009)
  • I’m a fan of the (reformed) Nottingham Panthers. It’s always fun to hear our fans from the original Panthers’ era talk about the games from the old days and how much it was different to now, and also read about some of the teams we played. My grandparents and great-grandparents were Panthers’ fans in the 1940s and 1950s and came back to the club when they restarted in 1980. One of the best stories I’ve heard was how the Panthers sealed the league title (something we’ve not managed in the modern era) at Brighton in 1954. There are a few players from the old era who were involved in the club that you might remember. Chick Zamick (who sadly died in 2007) was a youth coach for a while, while Les Strongman was our coach and then a member of our management committee for a number of years after that. I keep reading stories about a possible ice arena in Brighton; it would certainly be fun to be playing a name with the same kind of heritage and traditions as we have!

    By Kim Williams (09/07/2009)
  • I am the daughter of Lee Thorne living in Canada. My dad played on the same line with Bobby Lee and both are mentioned in the British Hockey Hall of Fame. My brother, David Keith Thorne (living in Kingsville Ontario Canada), has a wonderful scrap book of the Tigers that my mum kept of the British National League. My son, Martin David Moore, is the grandson of Lee Thorne (Brighton Tiger) and Lee Thorne’s great grandson is Reece David Daniel (of London Ontario Canada). Lee Thorne is currently living in London Ontario Canada and if anyone would like to contact him please do so through me via email at gillthorne@rogers.com

    By Gillian Thorne (Gillian Benoit married name) (18/07/2009)
  • Does anyone remember me? I played with Sussex Tigers, and still bear the scars. My dad was goal judge (balcony end) on Thursday nights, where else would you be other than waiting outside or in the long bar (or maybe on the other side of West Street in Sherrys)? Lovely memories!

    By Johnny Coverdale (04/11/2009)
  • I’ve recently moved to Brighton from Montreal, and I immediately began searching for anything ice hockey related in the area. I was very dissapointed to see that the Tigers no longer play, especially after having read so many great stories. I was also a bit dissapointed to see that the closest pro team is in Gilford. Anyways, I dug a little deeper and discovered the ‘Black Rock arena project’. I can tell you as a a huge ice hockey fan I would be ecstatic if they actually built the new arena and brought back the Tigers! I emailed the city council and am eagerly awaiting more info.

    By Fred Thun (31/12/2009)
  • To:Lyn Guest de Swarte: In reference to your interesting post, both me and my family have been friends with the Fresher’s for many many years. They all moved out to Perth Australia over 20 years ago, but unfortunately I must report that Jill sadly died a few years ago, but Rupe is still alive and kicking and living between Australia and Canada. Rupe still keeps in touch with Nipper Millard who I beleive now lives in Crete. Rupe and Jill’s children still return to Peacehaven to see old friends.

    By Matt (03/01/2010)
  • Does anybody remember Dave Richards who, when still in ice hockey, used to practice with Tigers Fresher / Millard whilst playing for Harringey?

    By Dave Richards (16/02/2010)
  • I went to every Thursday night game from 1948 to 1952! I went staight from school (in school uniform - Hove Grammar) and sat in line on the steps inside the building to claim a standing space half way down the rink on the left. I saved spaces for my father and friend and they paid my entrance! Thanks for all the memories and all the names. Though no one mentioned Jean Paul (T-Bone) Lacroix! And who was the defence man who was bald and wore a headguard? Johnny Oxley? For the last 50 years I have been here in Canada – seen great hockey here – but get very nostalgic about the Tigers! Hear Them Rooaaaarrrr!

    By Brian Powell (17/02/2010)
  • Must have sat on the steps of the SS with Brian Powell many times. I remember just before 7pm rushing up to Bardsleys for fish and chips and then back for the game. Several of the players names come to mind that have not been mentioned: Lefty Willmot, Lennie Baker, Gordie Porrier, Al Truelove, Jackie Dryburgh, Tommie Jamieson, and”Gib” then there was Glan Evans on the organ, and Charlie the cheerleader! Oh what times we had.

    By J.C. (21/02/2010)
  • I was so sad to hear from Matt that Jill died young but glad that her children visit Peacehaven. I’d love to meet their children. Mine all skated at Streatham and most of my grandchildren too. I wonder if the moderator of this great site would give my email to Rupert – such happy and innocent times.
    [Editor: Lyn – I’m afraid we have not had a post from Rupert himself so can’t communicate with him directly.]

    By Lyn Guest de Swarte (14/03/2010)
  • Can anybody please tell me where I might be able to buy a programme for a Tigers game for my father Roy?

    By Steve Devereux (09/04/2010)
  • Hi Uncle Johhny Coverdale. It’s your great nephew Phil from Burlington, Ontario, Canada. It looks like the Tigers were pretty cool way back in the day. I have seen a pic of you in action on the Tigers. All the best to all Tiger Alumnists and hockey fans.

    By Phil Steinberg, Burlington, Ontario, Canada (24/09/2010)
  • Hi! Can anybody pealse tell me the email address or contact number of Mr. Rupert Fresher? Thanks!

    By Chichi (03/10/2010)
  • I spent many a great season playing for the Tigers and sorry that it ended so abruptly. In recent years I often visit the area giving me the opportunity to catch up with my old team mates and friends recollecting the good old days. My time is divided between Perth, Australia and Canada and would love to hear from anyone.

    By Rupert Fresher (15/02/2011)
  • Hi,it’s Rupe Fresher here again. Just to let everyone know I’m in Perth, Australia at the moment. If Matt, Chichi and Lynne Guest de Swarte would like to make contact they can do so at the address above.

    By Rupert Fresher (20/02/2011)
  • Hi, My natural father worked for Roy Shepherd as his car valeter and was also friends with Mike O’Brien and also Pat Stringer who was a chorus line dancer. His name was Peter Graham (known as Painter Pete). I know very little about my father so if anyone knew him I’d love to hear from you. Please email me on carolhomewood@sky.com

    By Carol Homewood (12/04/2011)
  • My Dear old Gran used to love the Tigers and was adopted as their Mascot so I am told, this was mainly due to the Yellow and Black striped woollen dress she knitted and wore . Being very young at the time I thought she looked rather like a large Wasp, bless her .

    By Alan Spicer (23/06/2011)
  • Anyone wanting to reach Rupert Fresher, may do so at toronto_diva14@hotmail.com Thank you.

    By Rupert Fresher (27/08/2011)
  • Just a short note to advise that my father, Lee Thorne, passed away in Feb 2011 in London, Ontario. As far as I know, the only Tiger still living from the post war years, is Nobby Richradson, who was a very good of freind of my father and visted Canada many times to see his old team mate.

    By David Thorne (19/09/2011)
  • I used to go regularly to Streatham, (around 1958 I think) on a Wednesday evening, but I always had a very great leaning towards and affection for Brighton Tigers. I only managed to see them once on their own pad though. Was very sorry when they closed down. Still remember them after all this time.

    By Ray Nock (25/10/2011)
  • I am looking to find out about a plate i bought recently. It’s from when the Tigers played in Sweden. Would anyone have any information?

    By Dale Hughes (10/12/2011)
  • Hi all, just a quick word to say hello to everyone at Brighton from my dad Johnny Carlyle. He always talks about his days as a Tiger as a player and a coach and has fond memories of the place . Even I recognise the names being mentioned here and I’ve never been to Brighton, maybe it’s about time they had a nice arena and a good ice hockey team again. My dad lives in his home town of Falkirk but will never forget his time at the Brighton Tigers.

    By Garry Carlyle (19/01/2012)
  • That defence man was Gar Vasey, who came down to the Tigers from one of the Scottish teams. Gib was a great goal-minder, but so was Tony Parisi. Remember any rookie Tigers that won Rookie of the Year – try Doug Verity and Tom Rendall. Someone should try to write a book about the Tigers!

    By John Mason (03/06/2012)
  • I remember skating and going to a Tigers match in the early 1960s at the old rink in West Street. My Dad was Stan Simon, also known as Maurice Simon (goalie for a number of teams over the years including the 1948 GB Olympic team). Dad made ice hockey Sticks and I remember travelling to Wembley taking the sticks for a match and watching it. I would be interested in any photos of Stan Simon. Many names of players are familiar to me.

    By Cheryl Pool (nee Simon) (15/09/2012)
  • I am planning to write a book about the Brighton Tigers and would love to include as many memories of fans as I can as well as get in touch with some former players or their relatives. Anyone who is interested in sharing some memories etc can email me at brightontigers@hotmail.co.uk

    By Brighton Tigers (19/10/2012)
  • I went to all the games from 1953 till 1956, then the army. Loved the game – I have programmes up to 1958. Like to hear from any fans.

    By john ellis (29/10/2012)
  • Reading the comments from and about the Ice Hockey players above reminded me of many happy Sunday afternoons spent at the Ice Rink in the 1950s. Herewith a few memories from those times; ‘The smokey Land Rover’ referred to above was, in those days, an Ex-WD American Jeep, perhaps this made all those Canadians feel almost at home? Half way through the session the ice would be cleared and we would all go to the caff for a drink or a tea and a bun if we had enough money, or just stand about and try to chat-up some of the girls who were much better skaters than us amateurs, one of these from the Whitehawk area was particularly good and she and several of these girls went on to be professional skaters in the Tom Arnold productions. One of these I particularly remember was ‘Rose Marie on Ice’. We were too young to go up into the bar and I’m not even sure if it was open on a Sunday afternoon the licensing laws being much more restrictive in those days, or perhaps you had to be a full time member. During this ‘half-time’ period the Jeep would tow a sort of rake and hoe contraption round the ice to remove all the chippings and smooth the surface, some of the hockey team would hang on to the back of this and get the driver to go as fast as possible, I suppose he was one of theirs too? Then the ice would be sprayed all over with a hose and when this had re-frozen there was a rush to get back onto the fresh ice. Remember those rubber mats that were round the edges to save the floor from your skates? Some of us had saved up and bought our own skates, I think my first pair might have come from Jack Ball’s secondhand shop at the bottom of Edward Street, but later I bought some better ones and used to have them sharpened (3/6d, comes to mind ?) at the skate shop which was next door to the Ice Rink. If you didn’t have your own skates you could hire them from the rink for about 6d a session but these were mostly the worse for wear and you were lucky to get a good pair. When the second session started we, the paying skaters, had to beware of the hockey players, mostly big blokes, who would be racing round practising for the evening match. I don’t know how fast they were going but they could stop in about two feet with ice spraying everywhere, their skates were different to ours and much sharper! They had ‘speed’ skates and ours were ‘figure’ skates, I think that’s right? I noted the reference to the organ; Somewhere else on this site I did ask who played the organ and was told it was John Mann who I think came from Woodingdean, so the other name is of interest to me. BUT, does anyone know what make of organ it was? And was it preserved when the rink closed? When the organ wasn’t being played they had someone who would play records, mostly popular tunes of the day and dance music sessions for the dancers. There was a smell that was peculiar to the Brighton rink, I hadn’t thought about it before but it could have been the fumes from the old Jeep and the rotting floorboards under those rubber mats. Let’s face it; Health & Safety wouldn’t allow it now would they! I have been to Streatham and Gillingham, which is the nearest to where I now live, and hadn’t noticed any strange smells there. The opportunity to get on the ice is very limited now but I have been on our village pond and up the river near here on several occasions during some of our colder spells. It was a great shame that such a venue was lost to Brighton and the promised replacement was not forthcoming.

    By Tim Sargeant (30/10/2012)
  • I think that the lady ice skater that Tim mentioned living in Whitehawk was a girl from my street, Bennett Road. Her name before she was married was Millie Jones, sister of Allan and Ronny Jones. I think there was also another sister but I forget her name. I also saw the Rose Marie on ice show with my aunty Winnie in the ’50s. Millie told us kids that she mimed to the song when her part came to sing. Her dad was a coach driver and sometimes taxi driver with Streamline Taxis. I remember the day she got married, she looked lovely on her wedding day, and all the street came out to wish her well. Millie always dressed smart and always looked lovely. Mike Peirson.

    By Mick Peirson (31/10/2012)
  • I have just found this site and am almost reduced to blubbing recalling these great players from those times, my mum, dad and myself used to stand and watch every Sunday, remember when Roy Shepherd used to play for the Wembley Lions how we disliked him, and then when he switched to Tigers he became almost Saintly (at least according to my dear old Mum) The game changed I think when the rules limited the number of Canucks allowed but nobody has yet mentioned Jack Macdonald, who I thought was the closest thing we had to Bobby Lee. Does anyone recall the match against Paisley Mohawks (with, I think a guy called Billy Bremner) If I remember it right match was abandone when every player got involved in a a massive scrap including the off ice players and the refs had to call it off. such happy times!!! I also have many fond memories of skating at the SS before I went in to the forces in 1951, Then later as well, but then moved away not going back on the ice until trying to recapture my youth at my local rink in Romford a few years ago, and hiring a pair of Figure skates withe serrated toe edge for stopping, spent more time sitting down than on my feet, while youngsters flying about and the einquiring of the “old guy” if he was allright. THAT WAS IT. Great memories

    By John Tester (28/12/2012)
  • My father is turning 70 this year and his big passion during his retirement is supporting his local ice hockey team, the Chelmsford Chieftains. His nickname among the supporters is ‘BT’ which I believe came about after comments he made about the team he originally supported during his childhood/teens – the Brighton Tigers. I would like to put together info on the team for a home-made ‘memory’ book as a birthday present and would be grateful for any photos, programme covers, newspaper articles etc that anyone would be willing to scan and send to me. My email address is jbecklyhunt@hotmail.com. I think he would most likely have attended games during the 1950s – from the age of 7 or 8 until he joined the army – but I am not sure how much material from that time has survived, so anything from any time would be appreciated. Many thanks.

    By Jill Hunt (18/01/2013)
  • I lived in the white house “Sunnymeade” from 1949 when I was 4. This belonged to my uncle, Lionel Rice, (Barry was his son) and was taken over by my Dad, Ernie. The Kitcat then moved to Broad Street.
    Re the comment above from J. Summerfield (03/10/2005): My parents ran this as a B &B and the visiting teams used to stay with us. I remember going to the Tigers many times, and one time I was given a puck and a stick signed by all the players.

    By Rod Tempest (29/01/2013)
  • Hey, I was just looking through this site when I came across my Pop, Rupert Fresher. I haven’t seen you and Mo for a few years and need to catch up. I’m schooling in Perth now so when ever you are In Perth you should come to our school and sign me and Marlon out for the night and catch up. Hope to see you and Mo soon.

    By Cassidy Fresher (11/04/2013)
  • My brother-in-law, Larry Winder, played for the Brighton Tigers in 1955/57, I believe. He was from Winnipeg, Canada and loved his time in Brighton. His wife Anne (Taylor) Winder was one of the skaters from the ice shows that was held at the same arena. They are still married and live on Vancouver Island. Larry will turn 80 on May 5th and I was trying to get a picture of him in action with the Brighton Tigers but was not successful. If anyone has picture from this time either team or individual it would be appreciated. May be a little late for the birthday but know he would appreciate any memorabillia.

    By Joan Taylor (01/05/2013)
  • Hi Joan Taylor, If you contact me on my e-mail address— jonnydd@ntlworld.com— I will be able to explain to you the material that I have in my archive of the Brighton Tigers 1935-1965.

    By John Denyer (02/05/2013)
  • Brighton Tiger player Lennie Baker was my great uncle. If any one has any pictures of him I would be most grateful if you could email them to me at alchemyangel@live.co.uk  Thank you.

    By Caroline Hawkes (22/06/2013)
  • I used to watch the Tigers on many Sunday evenings in the 60s. I have an old friend (Tony Smith, age 80) who is now in a care home in Brighton and who I believe used to play for the team in the late 50s or early 60s, although I can’t remember seeing him play!  I would love to give him a special gift – a sweatshirt with the Brighton Tigers logo and name on the front. I hope to get this made up but what I need is a decent photo of the full logo as it appears on the shirt. I wondered if this is something anyone might be able to help with or, if not, to point me in the right direction?  Thank you very much indeed in advance   tim@timneill.org.uk

    By Tim Neill (07/01/2014)
  • In response to Mick Peirsons comment regarding the ice skater from Bennet road in Whitehawk: Her name was not Millie but Murial, although she prefers to be called Midge, she is alive and well and lives in Hove. She married John Oxley one of the players and they ran the Boatman Pub and then went on to run the Stirling Arms in Hove. John passed  away in 1976 and Midge carried on running the pub until she retired. Her brother Ron still lives in Bennett Road but her sister Vera died 23 years ago. Midge still keeps in contact with many from the old skating days.

    By Tony Fines (30/07/2014)
  • I am a friend of Rupe’s & Mo here in Toronto,Canada and I am just sharing in case someone wishes to establish communication with Rupe. I would do my best to help. 

    By John Brodie Ball (08/12/2017)
  • Hi. My Dad, Archie Summers talked about playing ice hockey for Brighton. I would love to find any pictures or info about this. Thanks.

    By Kathie Rees (29/01/2018)
  • Anyone out there remember George Skinner playing for the Tigers? Would love to see some photos if at all possible.

    By Lee Harding (27/02/2018)
  • My grandfather, Gar Vasey, played for the Brighton Tigers in the mid-1950s. He just passed away. We would love any leads on old photos or even his jersey number. Thanks so much.

    By Alannah MacDonald (05/04/2018)
  • Rupert Fresher: Sadly my father recently passed away in Toronto, Canada. Unfortunately, the facts show many of the ‘old school hockey players’ (as with many major contact sports) have suffered with dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

    Hear those T-I-G-E-R-S roar! Come on Brighton, let’s see ice hockey back in town!

    By Dean Fresher (29/05/2018)
  • Alannah MacDonald, I have information for you about your grandfather Gar Vasey. Please contact me: edrguard2005-jrrv@yahoo.ca

    By Ed Robertson (04/11/2018)
  • Does anyone have a program for sale with Harry Pearson in the team, he is very elderly now and in need of great memories. around 1959-1963 area.
    Get me on ivorboofty0@gmail.com.

    By Ivor boofty (13/09/2019)
  • My father, Tony Parisi, played for the Tigers on their 57/58 championship team. He was a goalie. If anyone has any stories or pictures would love to hear/see them.

    By Paula Parisi Cordeiro (25/10/2019)
  • Hi all,

    My father was Spike Bremner. He played for a few teams. Streatham one of them. Always looking for old memorabilia x

    By Julie-Ann (19/06/2020)
  • Hello everyone. I , as a child used to skate at the rink in west street. My mother took me there every week. Afterwards we would watch the Brighton Tigers. Is there anyway that I could find or buy a sweatshirt or t-shirt?

    By Sandra akines (11/09/2020)
  • The worst day ever when Top Rank closed our fabulous Brighton ice rink. I baby sat for John and Jan Yanchuk with their first son Butch. Reading all of the comments just brings it all back. Fantastic memories. Love and regards to all the ex Tigers who gave us so much excitement and fun back in the day.

    By PAT MCMULLAN (26/01/2021)
  • Hi

    Can anyone help with the email address for the correct person ( the one listed just bounces back) I am after Information on my late father Spike Bremner who played for the team many years ago.

    If anyone has any info also I’d be very grateful.


    Julie-Ann xx

    By Julie-Ann Anderson (09/04/2021)
  • Hello,
    My uncle, Ian Chapman, was a big fan of the Tigers and has left a large selection of programmes dating from 1938-1959 and many other photos etc. These are coming up for auction at Inghams Hove on 14th February 2022.
    Please look at their website for details. They are all lot 525. Hope that they can find a good home!

    By Julia Thompson (05/02/2022)

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