Longest bar in Europe.

I started going to Blackburn Ice Arena back when it first opened, in 1990 I think it was.

Their claim to fame at the time was they had the longest bar in Europe. I'm not sure if that was entirely true. That's what I was told and the bar was bloody long.

I was eighteen (seventeen) back then. We didn't go for the skating so much as just to hang out in the bar. People from all over Lancashire used to go at weekend and the atmosphere was great. We had some mad times in that bar.

After a while they closed a portion of it off and just opened it for ice hockey matches. It really was too long for it's purpose.

Then a few years went by and they chopped some of it down. Then a bit more. And a bit more until over the years it eventually became the size of a normal pub bar.

Now I've heard that it's closed all together for "health and safety" reasons, although you can still hire it for functions.

Again I don't know if that's true as I haven't been for years. I wouldn't be too quick to disbelieve it though. Having a beer and then getting on the ice must break so many of the modern H&S rules. It never did us any harm though. Well not much.

There are (or at least were) signs all around the arena saying "Ice skating is dangerous, take care". Maybe they want to take those signs down. They may as well. No body "takes care" anymore. If something goes wrong it's always somebody elses fault. There's always someone else to blame for your own stupidity.

If that bar was a bar on a bar chart, it would represent the decline of the British pub. It would also represent the decline of common sense, and inversely, the stupidity of the British public.

Next it will be hard hats and cushions tied to your arse if you want to skate. Oh well, there goes another bit of my history.

Do you ever get that longing where you want to walk into a place and it looks just the same as you remember it? Just so you can re live a little bit of your youth?