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Construction

The Rink was built during 1938 and early 1939 and due to open in late 1939 however with the outbreak of war the Government requisitioned the premises as a Royal Army Service Corp Depot and after the war up to 1951 it remained under the control of the Government being used as an HM Stationery Office store.

Back to MIR Home Page 1938
Location

Opening

Finally in August 1952, after a number of building alterations, the Rink opened to the public as an Ice Arena with the official opening ceremony being conducted by the then Lord Provost, Sir James Miller.

Back to MIR Home Page Aug 1952
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The new venue, quoted in the press as being ‘The Most Modern Ice Rink in Scotland’, gave the people of Edinburgh their chance, not only to go skating on a regular basis but also to see a whole variety of events ranging from professional ice hockey, professional ice shows, amateur boxing and basketball. Crowds of 1000 skaters on a Friday and Saturday night were not uncommon and on one occasion in the spring of 1953, 5000 spectators attended an international amateur boxing tournament with 2000 having to be turned away!

Back to MIR Home Page 1952 to 1956
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With the passing of time however the operating Company found it harder and harder to attract the public to their core activities of ice hockey, large ice shows and skating and in June 1956 the shareholders decided that the Rink should be put up for sale.

Back to MIR Home Page June 1956
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New Owners

Nearly a year later in April 1957 four enterprising Edinburgh businessmen, who had no experience whatsoever of running an ice rink, formed a new Company, bought the Rink, took over the reins and set about trying to find the right balance to make the Rink, considered by some to be a ‘white elephant’, a paying proposition. They are still running it since those days...

Back to MIR Home Page Apr 1957
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After an absence of two seasons professional ice hockey was quickly reintroduced as was ice dance and figure skating, curling and speed skating and, although some larger events took place over the following years. The new owners’ main efforts concentrated on public skating, ice hockey with the development of young local players and ice dance and figure skating, via the newly formed Murrayfield Ice Skating Club. Despite their best endeavours, the near capacity ice hockey crowds which rinks across the country had experienced began to dwindle, professional ice hockey became no longer viable and, by the start of the 60’s, British ice hockey had entered a new ‘amateur’ phase which was to remain for nearly the following 20 years. The famous Murrayfield Royals finally disappeared from the British Ice hockey scene in 1966 to be replaced by the future record setting Murrayfield Racers.

Back to MIR Home Page 1958 to 1969
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In 1970 the City of Edinburgh played host to the first Commonwealth games to be held in Scotland with Murrayfield being the chosen venue for the Boxing Tournament. John Conteh at 19 won the middle weight Gold medal for England and local boy 23 year old Tom Imrie won the light middle weight Gold medal for Scotland in a passion filled arena. The closing ceremony was also held at the Rink for the 42 participating nations on the 25 July.

Back to MIR Home Page July 1970
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1978 saw the closure of Haymarket Ice Rink, which was predominately a curling rink and a demand suddenly existed from the curling fraternity for more curling ice than could be accommodated within the tight schedules at Murrayfield. The concept of a new rink in Edinburgh dedicated to curling began to emerge, an advisory committee was put together and with the Scottish Rugby Union agreeing to sell the necessary parcel of land the concept turned into reality with a separate seven lane curling rink being opened in September 1980. Later a new company was formed to separately run the new Rink called Murrayfield Curling Limited.
The Tuesday and Thursday curling sessions in the main rink were incorporated into the new rink and the ice time released transferred to skating, ice hockey and speed skating.

Back to MIR Home Page 1978
Location

Professional Ice Hockey

The 80’s saw the reintroduction of professional ice hockey with the Murrayfield team being one of the most feared teams in Britain. The number of ‘imports’ was initially limited allowing many of the amateur players who had progressed through the junior development stages at Murrayfield, as well as at Dundee, Fife and other rinks, to move smoothly into the new era of ice hockey. Some of the Murrayfield ‘imports’ as well as some of the local home grown talent became nationally known in the Ice Hockey fraternity as well as further afield. Tony Hand, the first ever British player drafted by the NHL in North America, was a product of the Murrayfield Junior Development programme. Over his career Tony played for several clubs and received national recognition for his services to ice hockey in 2003 when he was awarded an MBE.

Back to MIR Home Page 1980's
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Also in the 80’s there was an increased public awareness of the existence of ice rinks and the sport of skating thanks to the successes on the national and international stage of John Curry, Robin Cousins and Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

Back to MIR Home Page 1980's
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A number of music and dance events were also held in the early 90's at Murrayfield.

Back to MIR Home Page 1992
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In 1993 the World famous Harlem Globetrotters returned to Murrayfield for the third time having already played exhibition matches there in 1958 and 1963. For a third time they attracted full capacity crowds.

Back to MIR Home Page Oct 1993
Location

1990's

Murrayfield have also played host to a number of important productions for the Edinburgh International Festival throughout the years as well as some more unusual events for instance providing a large screen to cater for Hibs fans who were unable to obtain tickets for the 1994/95 Scottish Cup semi final match against Stenhousemuir.
Later that year the Rink was used as a set for a major scene in the award winning Scottish film "Small Faces". Incidentally, many of the extras in the scene were regular Murrayfield skaters!

Back to MIR Home Page 1995
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Siblings Sinead and John Kerr, born and raised in Edinburgh, learned to skate at Murrayfield and went on to the eighth place at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada and fifth in the World Championships Torino 2010. The pair claimed their second European bronze in 2011 Bern Switzerland following the success of Helsinki Finland 2009.

Back to MIR Home Page 2009 to 2011
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In 2014 after a gap of many years the rink once again became an Edinburgh Fringe Festival Venue hosting the Franco-Québécois company Le Patin Libre who brought their new form of contemporary, urban, acrobatic dance, inspired by the magic of gliding.

Back to MIR Home Page 2014