We asked Daily Echo readers what they missed most about the town in the 1980s  - many said a much-entertainment venue with a chilling past.

It was certainly a significant part of the town's history and holds many fond memories for local residents.

Bournemouth businessman Major Sharp had a vision to create a skating rink that would not only serve as a recreational space for all but also provide an opportunity for his children to learn how to skate.

Built over the top Westover Motors in 1930, this vision became Westover Ice Rink.

A programme from Ice Fantasia, a show put on in the early years reads: "Visitors to the Ice Rink are reminded that the company are also proprietors of the Westover Garage where a large selection of fine cars is always on view."

Bournemouth Echo: Flatbed scanned, snapshot of the past. Skaters at Westover ice rink, Westover Rd, in 1985. 4/9/85 Return to Library.

With its Art Deco design, this venue quickly became a favourite among leisure seekers. Offering public skating sessions and a range of other activities, it quickly became a hub of entertainment offering competitive ice hockey matches, speed skating, ice shows and figure skating competitions.

Just two years after opening, the first British Inter Rink Ice Dance competition was held at the much-loved venue.

The first gala nights took place in the summer of 1930. The following year, there was an Arabian Nights production, and in 1933 a full-scale ice show, Gypsy Dream. The 1934 show, Gay Vienna, was bigger still.

The outbreak of war hampered the fun, closing the 1939 ice show early as the whole rink closed down. But the follies were back in 1947 and continued without missing a year until 1980.

An Echo review of Ice Follies ’66 noted that the rink’s managing director, John Neal, had “pushed aside any thought of economy in the show”, opting for an extravagant production with six scene changes.

Bournemouth Echo: Westover Road Ice Rink skate school in 1989.

“Into a scene – the best of the evening – the Bournemouth You Remember, rolls an early century tram in front of a scenic background of Bournemouth Pier as it used to be,” the review said.

“Mr Neal bought the main chassis of the tram for £10 in its original form as a milk float. It was stripped down and a tram carriage erected on it.”

During the autumn of 1972, a remarkable addition of two weeks was granted to the renowned Ice Follies performance, solidifying its position as the longest-running ice spectacle in the nation.

In the grand spectacle of the 1973 follies show a vintage Austin made its way onto the icy stage. However, this vintage beauty was not alone in its daring performance. Sharing the spotlight was a remarkable Bullnose Morris from 1924, a car that had long been retired from the roads but found a new purpose in being used to regularly clean the rink.

Olympic gold medallist John Curry made his professional debut at the rink in 1976, and Torvill and Dean performed there later.

Bournemouth Echo: Westover ice rink closure - January 6, 1991.

In the very same place, where dreams were born and talents were nurtured, entertainer Anita Harris discovered her passion for skating. It was within these hallowed grounds that future Miss World Ann Sidney also honed her skills on the ice. So too did a future star of the sport, Robin Cousins, while visiting on holiday from Bristol.

The Ice Follies' demise in 1980 brought about a noticeable change in the summer experience for numerous tourists in Bournemouth. The retirement of John Neal, a long-standing member of the staff who eventually became the rink's manager, marked the end of an era in October 1982 when he decided to step down at the age of 73.

But the future of the rink hung in the balance on multiple occasions. It was back in 1983 when Chipperfields, a renowned entertainment company, struck a deal to transform the rink into a magnificent big top, hosting a captivating 10-week circus extravaganza.

The rink continued to be a hub for ice sports and entertainment throughout the 20th century, but despite community efforts, it, unfortunately, closed in 1991 due to economic reasons.

In the midst of evolving times and shifting leisure habits, the rink's owners made a solemn declaration in 1991 - the once-thriving establishment had become economically unviable and had to shut.

Bournemouth Echo: Westover ice rink closure - January 6, 1991.

In spite of numerous petitions, protests, and a formal delegation to the Bournemouth council, the venue was forced to close their doors for the very last time.

The building remained unused for 25 years before being converted into a gym.

But Westover Ice Rink still holds a special place in the hearts of many who learned to skate there, watched shows, or enjoyed the unique atmosphere.

These days online communities share memories and photos of the rink, keeping its spirit alive - including the Daily Echo Facebook pages,