200 years since the roller skate was patented for the first time, the Lakeland Motor Museum is appealing to anyone who may have a pair of iconic boots from the 70s, 80s – and inline skates from the 90s, to contribute them to a new display.
While the first recorded use of roller skates was in London in 1743 and the first two-wheel “recorded skate invention” was recorded in Belgium in 1760, it’s believed the four-wheel design wasn’t patented until 1819 in France. Many design changes followed for the next 150 years before roller skating became a cultural phenomenon during what’s known as roller skating’s “golden age” in the lead-up to the 1960s. Their popularity was boosted further in 1983, when US President Ronald Reagan even declared October as “National Roller Skating Month”.
While best-known for its collection of cars, motorbikes and other motoring artefacts, the museum’s team welcomes anything on wheels, with roller skates from the 1930s, 40s and 50s already among its collection.
Notable gaps in the history of roller skates, however, are playing on the mind of Operations Director Chris Lowe, who says, “We already have quite a few pairs of roller skates on display from the 1930s to the 1950s, but we’re really keen to unlock a bit of nostalgia among people aged from around 30 to 50, by tracking down a few pairs of genuine roller skates from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
“We’ve got several cars from that era, including a Ford Sierra Cosworth, a DMC DeLorean and an Opel Manta for example, but we also thought it would be fun to add a few more items from that time to remind people about their first time on wheels, as children or teenagers.”
Anybody who may like to see their roller skates – or even skateboards on display in the museum can call 015395 30400 and ask for Chris or email him at [email protected]