An Old Postcard View of the Hippodrome, Thornley

The Hippodrome was opened in 1913 and closed in 1959. Derelict for many years, it was finally demolished in the early Seventies. For the last few years of its life, it was easy to get inside the building from the stage door on the right hand side (off camera in the narrow alley between the shop to the right) and it became a popular haunt for local kids. I write from experience. I remember running amok with assorted pals from St Godricís one school dinner hour in 1969 in what used to be the Upper Circle. And also, one night a while later, swinging across the stage on an improvised Tarzan rope! By 1971, when the building really was in a sorry state, we were even playing hide and seek in the roof rafters, with a very scary sheer drop into the auditorium way below. Strangely, like so many buildings in Thornley, the land on which it was built has remained undeveloped. Surely it must still belong to someone? Photograph via Owen Rowland.

Tom Tunney, 1920-95, Childhood Memories