Winter sports are about so much more than ski breaks at Klosters with Will and Kate (though that looks fun too!) so for The Winter Warm Up Issue, i-D took a trip to Solihull and slurped on Slush Puppies at Blue Ice Skating Rink.
Some things never change, regardless of age, generation or location, when it comes to having fun and being free, time stands still. Located behind a car park, in an urban suburb of Birmingham, accessible only via a narrow alleyway, Blue Ice Skating Rink stands at the helm of the Solihull community. Unremarkable from the outside, the rink is housed within a grey concrete building and is identifiable only by a worn, wooden sign. When you walk through the turnstiles at Solihull ice rink, there is no weapons check. No bouncers wait in the wings, frisking the throngs of kids who pour, excitably through the old, worn doors and onto the ice. Despite first opening in the early 80s, Solihull ice rink remains as culturally relevant now as it was then. Even today, when street crime in Birmingham stands at record highs, if you were to pay a visit to Solihull on a Friday night you would not find kids getting theirs on anything but cold solid surfaces. The streets outside stay empty until closing time and the rink remains rammed until the shutters are pulled down on just another night of Slush Puppies, burgers and toe jumps. Enter the venue at 9pm and a huddle of velour track-suited, side-ponied girls stand nonchalantly at the epicentre of the ice, chewing gum and chatting boys. Scaling the perimeters, a succession of shaved headed, hoodie-wearing lads rapidly weave by pulling jumps and shaving turf. This is suburban living, Brummy style. It ain’t about who you are or where you’re from. Town-boys, it’s all on what Nikes your kicking, the taper fades you front and the speed you achieve. Tolly-birds be sure your weave is fresh, your strappy top’s howling and your false eyelashes are fixed on. It doesn’t pay to look like nobody owns you on this ice rink, bab.