A small wooden building full of memories " The Rink Shack "
It had two small dressing rooms with wooden benches
The first thing that hit you as you entered was the heat generated by a coal fired kitchen stove,and there in the corner sitting on the coal bin was Old JESS the keeper of the rink.
Jess Bowbrick lived on Springfield ,I think he drove taxi in summer.
The smell was a perfume of sweat,wet wool and leather and Old Jess’s pork pies.
"Park Pies "he called them,and I thought "wow" they’ve named a pie after the Park.
The floors were scarred by hundreds of skate blades,the walls as I remember were painted yellow,darkened by smoke and lit by a light bulb.
It was the time of the wooden stick-you could buy a stick at Kipps general store for $1.25 some were one piece,and could last a long time.
Legend has it Frank Barfoot used the same stick for three years...it looked like a toothpick!
Equipment was scarce in those days and it was not uncommon to see some guys using magazines as shinpads held on with inner tube bands.
No one wore helmets and goalies did not wear masks.
Some of the tricks used when playing outdoors were_put pepper in your skates,and your socks in your jock.
(I know one guy who did this and got Athletes foot of the...oh never mind)Many great players passed through these doors. The Barfoot bros Frank,Cliff and Bill,The
Hollingdrakes,Dickie,Jimmy,Alan Argue,The Charles bros.Chas and Joey Ralph and Harold Stone,Harry Kipps,Bruce and John Nairn,Cliff Board,Bruce Newell,Jim McCarthy
Ken Swinwood,George Holgate,Gordie Pierce,Arnold McCrae,Herkie White and many more.
Coaches Jim Lawlor,Mr. Goldborn
It was a fabulous place,filled with a great spirit
And sometimes when watching my grandson play hockey today,I think back to those times and I can still see it in my minds eye,and I’m sure I can smell Old Jess"s "Park Pies"
Thanks Terry T.
Great Story and I'm sure it will bring back memories for several generations of Parkers