Bernard Adams : The earliest Superb Indian Boarding Coach
In this article, I wish to share with the story of great teacher Bernard Adams, and how he became a specialist skater. The story bears on ice-making and it has never been told in print. Bernard said that after he was about sixteen years old his father, architect to the Leeds Corporation, died leaving the household none too well off. He therefore left school, and having nothing to complete and buying job, was asked if he would care to look after an ice surface which have been laid down in the basement of the Londesborough Theatre in Scarborough. Whether the process, which he said was the patent of a Serbian Doctor, was that of Professor Gamgee I do not know. He was, furthermore, asked if he would be prepared to demonstrate skating to enquirers.
He took on the job, bought a guide on skating and taught himself from it. Bernard Adams was subsequently delivered to London to show, and became the first man to become a double gold, i.e. to pass the first-class tests in both English and the International styles of skating.
There is without doubt that the experiments carried out in the science of ice-making caused a resurgence of curiosity about figure-skating. After the period of Jones and his associates, and through the terrific frosts of the first nineteenth century, racing became almost a passion with the English, and from the records available, we look for a continuous deterioration in its conduct, before the foundation of the National Skating Association of Great Britain in 1879.
Most of the racing before that time was for wagers and there can be without doubt that the enormous level of betting done, generated every conceivable kind of crookedness and irregularity. Adam Basement Delaware You can find, obviously, on record, incidents of a lighter character, as as an example the race in 1805 between 130 young Dutchwomen held at Leeuwarden in Holland. In 1818 a popular race was held in Lancashire, the first prize, a cap, being won by way of a person called Marsh and the next prize, a container of gin, by an expert called Harrison. These and other similar events with many different prizes from fifty per cent of a crown to a few guineas are reported in the Sporting Magazine, a widely read publication of that period.
The Stamford Mercury, one of the oldest journals in England, records a competition at Crowland on January 28, 1820, for a prize of five guineas, in that the fastest English skaters, John Young and Charles and John Staplee raced against J. Gittam of Nordelph, Holland, who was simply the winner!
The exact same journal reports that victory established Gittam because the champion and he was backed by Mr. Woodward, a well-known sportsman, to skate a direct mile, with a traveling start, in under three minutes, which he did at Prickwillow, on January 4th, 1821, with seven seconds to spare.
By this time around racing had gripped the imagination of the people and it became certainly one of typically the most popular sports in the country. Gittams superiority did not last long, for on January 14th, 1823, he, and sixteen others, the fastest men in Europe, were all beaten by J. Young of Nordeiph over a distance, for a prize of £10.00. Young, who must not be confused with Young of Mepal, remained supreme, challenged over and over again until 1830, when, in his thirty-third year, he was beaten.