Endurance Skating

Training, Racing & LCHF Fueling For Skating And Endurance Sports

Vauxhall Roller Disco: Stepping Back In Time… One Last Time

roller disco

Freak…

The Renaissance Rooms in Vauxhall, London has been home to the Roller Disco for the best part of a decade. Every Thursday, Friday & Saturday night the venue has been host to a kaleidoscope of cheesy disco music, bright colours, and outrageous fancy dress where the old skool quaddies show off their spectacular roller dance moves, while the casual and over-inebriated occasional visitors go around and around, some clinging to the side with the stability of a newborn lamb, others with slightly more grace and balance…. all sharing in fabulous the unique experience that is “Roller Disco.”

I first visited Roller Disco back in 2007, and have been a mildly infrequent visitor in the years since.  I fondly remember taking part in the attempt to break the world record for the longest skate congo-line – about four hundred skaters in a line so long it went out of the building and onto the road, and back into the building like a huge real-life human skaterpede (the attempt failed btw).

Unlike many other club nights, I’ve never seen anything dodgy or bad happen at roller disco (apart from the odd spectacular faceplant) – nobody goes there off their face on dodgy substances or is looking for anything other than to have a great fun evening.  The thing that has always impressed me most was the old-skool jam skaters – these guys and gals are weekly regulars at Roller Disco with great dance moves and skating skills, and while they will occasionally venture out to Hyde Park and other skating hotspots to show off their awesome moves, their home has always very much been at the Roller Disco.

I remember at the height of its popularity you would either have to turn up super early or else have to queue for an hour or more to eventually get in.. of course, it would be so completely packed that skating would normally just be a case of avoiding failing gumbies (our term for new skaters) more than anything else.

However time stand still for no institution, so I was very sad to learn that Roller Disco will be closing its door for the last time at the end of March 2015.  Vauxhall itself has been one of the most redeveloped areas in London in recent years as new office and horrendously overpriced cubbyhole flats have been quickly built thanks to an unprecedented ZIRP-fueled real estate bubble (it will end badly).

So last Friday I skipped the LFNS to pay one last homage to Roller Disco. A good time was had (as ever), although I’m not sure I can count it as training. The venue itself was absolutely stunning, looking better than I’ve ever seen it – the 2nd room that used to be slightly dark and is now resplendent under an impressive new lighting system, complete with CO2 machine and huge glitter balls. If Roller Disco is truly closing for business soon, it will certainly be going out in style.

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, and I will be sad to see the passing of this great Institution. I have fond memories of Roller Disco – a truly unique experience in London, where you would step back in time and have pure unadulterated fun. Mostly, I feel sorry for the regulars who have been the life of Roller Disco week in, week out, for as long anyone can remember. Best wishes to the old skool – I salute you and wish you all well!

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This entry was posted on March 2, 2015 by in Skating and tagged , , , , , .

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