Ice dome

26 January 2010

Now the council wants to build a winter sports centre on a patch of land beside, or maybe underneath, the big toll bridge. The local papers were pleased enough about it yesterday: today it’s all about the businesses who might or might not be compulsorily bought out, and the whole thing will drag on for years with the usual photographs of aggrieved, wide-eyed residents pointing to their chosen eyesore.

The members of the target audience spend their weekend afternoons inside the console games exchange, and wouldn’t care about an Ice Dome unless they could pick up pieces of the Triforce in it.

There used to be an ice rink where my mum comes from. It closed down in the eighties, the way that most things did, and it was in a shoddy state, but it had had a glamorous fifties of it, and my mother still exchanged Christmas cards with the Norwegian family of a teenage skating star who’d been their lodger during a competition.

I don’t know where the council’s got the idea that what it actually administers is a leisure facility the size of a large port city. (Well, I do; it’s from the leisure facilities it contracted out all over the ex-industrial land it clawed out of the large port city.) Last year – to the outrage of the architecture column in Private Eye – it publicised a plan to turf the municipal art gallery out of the Civic Centre quadrilateral when the police move out, and install a museum of the Titanic in there.

But will every other exhibit play the song?

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