A roller skating rink was opened in Faversham in 1910 in an old barge chandlers on the bank of the Creek near the bridge, on land now used as a factory car park. The rink was a huge success when it opened, and a roller hockey club was soon formed. Keen players were split into teams and competed against other local towns and further afield. The best players from the four Faversham teams in 1921 were selected to become a representative town side.
One fine sporting gesture drawn attention to in this Paper as regards roller hockey was that they did not use reserves. If a player was injured and unable to continue playing in a match, the opposition would withdraw one of their players to redress the balance.
Disaster struck in 1925, however, when the skating rink was completely destroyed by fire. Unfortunately, the building had not been insured, and was never replaced. However, this was not the end. Despite often being rivals in competitions, Herne Bay generously allowed the young Faversham players to continue training using their rink.
The Faversham team’s finest hour was undoubtedly in the 1929/1930 season, when they were invited to represent England at Montreux in Switzerland to try and win the Cup of Nations. There were national teams from France, Germany, Italy and Belgium – against a team of players from a small town in Kent, which did not even have its own rink! How did they get on? The Paper contains press cuttings galore and many photographs to explain what happened.
Perhaps it is worth adding that Herne Bay still has a skating rink and are still playing matches in a league. After reading Fred’s Paper, it begs the question: if only the rink had been rebuilt, and the Club continued, what could have been achieved?