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Middlesbrough Snowdome - DEAD IN THE WATER (20.1.21)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A £30m indoor ski centre on Teesside has been given the go-ahead.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-52093809
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Alastair Pink wrote:
A £30m indoor ski centre on Teesside has been given the go-ahead.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-52093809
I'd guess the economic calamity that has just befallen us will mean no hope of raising the capital for this, or any other indoor slope for the next few years Sad
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:
I'd guess the economic calamity that has just befallen us will mean no hope of raising the capital for this, or any other indoor slope for the next few years

The local Council has always maintained that it will happen - they have actively promoted & encouraged it as a major regeneration project.

So I'm still keeping everything crossed at this stage...
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"The owners had a great scheme charging people to train as instructors"

Yes I was one the trainee instructors. Still have Eston Hills Ski school sweat shirt to prove it! I can vouch that the surface was just like boiler plate ice. Good for honing your technique, but not exactly fun!

I also was one of those trainee ski instructors. Best thing I ever did as it opened up a whole new world for me, and the unforgiving slope helped me to cope with skiing on icy hard slopes on the real snow slopes. Went on to teach at Silksworth when Eston Hills closed. And yes I also still have my ski school sweat shirt. Now live in Scotland in the Highlands.
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+1 for Eston hills ski school sweatshirt! Didn't qualify as I couldn't log the teaching hours needed. Completely agree about the surface.
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In the early 90's, I worked as a volunteer Ski Patrol in Sheffield. Worked 6 hours a week in winter, skied for free all year. Free ski servicing Very Happy

They had a scheme to train instructors for free. Unfortunately, due to traffic, it was impossible to get 30 miles from work for the start times. Sad

Never got a sweatshirt. Sad
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brianatab,

Happy memories of Sheffield. What a great slope it was!

We went a lot in the late 80s/early 90s and have fond memories of the catering hut (and particularly the jumbo sausages) and ski rental hut before they built the lodge.

We loved the mogul slope there! Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Yep, Sheffield for me too.
Mr G did his very initial learn to snowboard there. Caught an edge on the drafted doormatty stuff right at the end of the last lesson and broke his ankle in several places. Didn't put him off, though.
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Helped lay the matting at Sheffield, got a sweatshirt, then was a liftie / ski tech there for a bit and did instructor training until studies meant I hadn't the time. Remember just a short slope to start with and the excitement when the matting went all the way to the top. Used to teach local kids on their PE lessons, great times indeed.
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Gillhed wrote:
"The owners had a great scheme charging people to train as instructors"

Yes I was one the trainee instructors. Still have Eston Hills Ski school sweat shirt to prove it! I can vouch that the surface was just like boiler plate ice. Good for honing your technique, but not exactly fun!

I also was one of those trainee ski instructors. Best thing I ever did as it opened up a whole new world for me, and the unforgiving slope helped me to cope with skiing on icy hard slopes on the real snow slopes. Went on to teach at Silksworth when Eston Hills closed. And yes I also still have my ski school sweat shirt. Now live in Scotland in the Highlands.


Do you know the Exalls then. I worked with them for a years.
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Quote:
Do you know the Exalls then. I worked with them for a years
Bet most people who regularly frequented the slopes at Willington and Silksworth (and no doubt other north east locations) from the 1990s would know father and son John and Chris (Exall)...Keen skiers would be a bit of an understatement. Mrs MA and I bought skis from John at one point.

Sadly, I heard that John had died a few years back and that, unsurprisingly, he was still teaching (into his 80s did I hear?) at Silksworth until just before he died. I've seen that Chris writes articles for the Ski Club of GB magazine.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Article from the local press re. approval of the 'final blueprint'

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/detailed-blueprints-middlesbroughs-30m-snow-18007441

The elected mayor has just been on tv to confirm that the Council is doing all it can - in conjunction with the developers - to make it happen.

So all about as positive as it can be at this stage... Smile
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
mountainaddict wrote:
Quote:
Do you know the Exalls then. I worked with them for a years
Bet most people who regularly frequented the slopes at Willington and Silksworth (and no doubt other north east locations) from the 1990s would know father and son John and Chris (Exall)...Keen skiers would be a bit of an understatement. Mrs MA and I bought skis from John at one point.

Sadly, I heard that John had died a few years back and that, unsurprisingly, he was still teaching (into his 80s did I hear?) at Silksworth until just before he died. I've seen that Chris writes articles for the Ski Club of GB magazine.


Really sad to hear that John has passed away. I worked with John and Chris at Catterick Ski Center. They both lived for skiing. Had the pleasure of skiing with them at Aonoch Moor, John couldnt ski for toffee, Chris moved his bindings forward, and like magic he could ski.Chris just floated on skis.

I too brought skis off John and Chris, a pair of 210cm Lange GS Skis. Chris lent me a pair of skis to go on holiday to the States with. The binding ripped out of one, I went to a ski shop, to get them fixed/hire a pair of skis. The shop staff where stunned to see I was skiing on Marker MRR Race bindings with settings 12-24 and serrations in the toe binding to grip the boot better. The comments where "you do know theses binding wont come off if you fall" Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Yes I knew both the Exalls well. Both John and Chris had a big part to play in improving both my skiing and my ski teaching ( and Jeffs). I Taught along with my hubby Jeff at Eston Hills and then at Silksworth for many years, and occasionally at Catterick.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Gillhed wrote:
Yes I knew both the Exalls well. Both John and Chris had a big part to play in improving both my skiing and my ski teaching ( and Jeffs). I Taught along with my hubby Jeff at Eston Hills and then at Silksworth for many years, and occasionally at Catterick.


If you taught at Catterick, we will know each other. I was the head instructor at Catterick (long haired bloke) and we (catterick staff) used to go to Silksworth regularly on a Friday night.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I’m Gillhed’s other half! Yes, I remember you, quite curly hair if I remember right! Friday night at Silksworth was a great night. You met some great skiers and always good craic. As Gillhed said we relocated to North of Inverness a few years ago so don’t have a decent dry slope to ski on these days, we have to put up with the real thing Toofy Grin .
We arrived in Serre Chevalier the day the French closed up shop this year so had the shortest ski holiday we have ever had Crying or Very sad
Stay safe in these strange times.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yes - John and Chris Exall were/are both characters indeed! They were the trainers/examiners when Mrs B and I did our ASSI qualifications and we saw a lot of them over the years on local dry slopes.

Happy days! Very Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
A Google search reveals that it's over 6 years since John Exall died...

Typically, Chris stated "He didn't quite go with his boots on - but it was as close as could be reasonably asked for"...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/ipoynton.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/obituary-and-tribute-to-john-exall/amp/
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Teleman wrote:
I’m Gillhed’s other half! Yes, I remember you, quite curly hair if I remember right! Friday night at Silksworth was a great night. You met some great skiers and always good craic. As Gillhed said we relocated to North of Inverness a few years ago so don’t have a decent dry slope to ski on these days, we have to put up with the real thing Toofy Grin .
We arrived in Serre Chevalier the day the French closed up shop this year so had the shortest ski holiday we have ever had Crying or Very sad
Stay safe in these strange times.


I am sure I know who you both are. There wasnt many couples teaching at the time. Im no good with names, but remember faces/people.

It must be awful living near snow. I have skied at XScape, Castleford a few times, to get my oldest grandaughter skiing. Otherwise havent been on a dry slope for years.

I was in Ischgl the week they decided to close the resort. On the Friday evening we where told to pack as we where being taken to a hotel out of the area as it was going to be locked down. Luckily we booked the week we did as we nearly always go the week of the lock down.

We had heard of people getting to French Resorts only to be told they where closing. It must have been heartbreaking.

Friday night at Silskworth was always good, I usualy spent more time chatting them skiing.
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mountainaddict wrote:
A Google search reveals that it's over 6 years since John Exall died...

Typically, Chris stated "He didn't quite go with his boots on - but it was as close as could be reasonably asked for"...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/ipoynton.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/obituary-and-tribute-to-john-exall/amp/


Thankyou for that.
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Bergmeister wrote:
Yes - John and Chris Exall were/are both characters indeed! They were the trainers/examiners when Mrs B and I did our ASSI qualifications and we saw a lot of them over the years on local dry slopes.

Happy days! Very Happy


Silksworth, Willington and Catterick, good times skiing at all of them. 15 years of working at Catterick, best job I ever had
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John Exall was the only man I ever met who could smoke a small cigar between each run on a dry slope! A perfect gentleman who was aways prepared to help anybody but also didn’t suffers fools gladly. Chris was the most graceful skier I have ever seen, as you say he seems to float over the piste!
Ah, Catterick, I remember teaching young squaddies who just wanted to see who could straight line the slope and still be standing after smashing into the bottom of the slope. Testostorone overload!
I remember as a youngster, people going to Catterick to learn the “Basics” before going on the school trip to Norway. I never went, as strangely I chose to go on a holiday to study Roman archeology rather than go skiing......not sure what drugs I was taking at the time! It was a sad day when it burned down.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Teleman wrote:
John Exall was the only man I ever met who could smoke a small cigar between each run on a dry slope! A perfect gentleman who was aways prepared to help anybody but also didn’t suffers fools gladly. Chris was the most graceful skier I have ever seen, as you say he seems to float over the piste!
Ah, Catterick, I remember teaching young squaddies who just wanted to see who could straight line the slope and still be standing after smashing into the bottom of the slope. Testostorone overload!
I remember as a youngster, people going to Catterick to learn the “Basics” before going on the school trip to Norway. I never went, as strangely I chose to go on a holiday to study Roman archeology rather than go skiing......not sure what drugs I was taking at the time! It was a sad day when it burned down.


John, Chris and I all worked there when it closed in 1997, miss management by the then owner. It was reopened by Swedish Mike, but he was forced to close down by the Garrison Commander as the building was in such a state. As the building belonged to the army the wouldn't take the risk of being sued.
A farmer used it to store hay, a young lad set fire to it. A sad day. I cycle past occasionally and think of the great times I had working there and the many friends I made.

When did you teach there?

I was there from 1982 to 1997. Its where I learnt to ski. I started there on a Youth Opportunities Programme work scheme. The Millmans where in charge at the time.
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We only ever taught at Catterick very occasionally when John Exall asked us or When Mikael Neilson asked. I can’t actually remember the years, but I do remember yourself.
On another note I wonder whatever happened to him? We once went on a holiday with him to Flaine together with others from Eston. A great holiday, weather and snow superb all week. I remember Mikael drinking Black Coffee with Swedish Vodka (equal measures Toofy Grin ) before going out for food and beer!
We taught at Silksworth for many years after Eston closed, great times.
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Mrs B and I taught at Willington for a few years, so saw Chris and John a lot there - as well as at Silksworth. Happy days - until the council pulled the plug on Willington long before anyone had ever heard of austerity Sad

Note to self - must pay Silksworth a visit and support it while we can.
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I went to Willington once. The rope tow was the best forearm exercise I've ever done.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
We went to Willington from Newcastle University one evening just after it opened circa 1985? The thing I remember was the Dendix had more ‘response’ being laid over a concrete surface.

Looking back those were the golden years of northern skiing with lots of active ski clubs skiing on local snow and some very active dry skiing. How things have changed !
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@foxtrotzulu, why bizarre?
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You know it makes sense.
Ski tech, where about in The Garrison was the slope ?

Reading that obituary he was clearly a prime mover in the north east ski scene which was very active, probably because of him and others like him. He may well have had a hand in the 1970 study which looked at possible skiing venues in northern England based on snow holding. That study was partly responsible for the establishment of Yad Moss whilst most of the other clubs already had a site developed, notably at Weardale.

Anyone remember the mid 1980s proposal for a giant artificial slope near wolsingham. Carnt see anything about it on the net but it was a big deal at the time. I think part of the concept was to benefit from snow skiing in the winter and possibly even snowmaking. A forerunner of the Middlesborough proposal but a lot bigger snowHead
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Peter S wrote:
Ski tech, where about in The Garrison was the slope ?

Reading that obituary he was clearly a prime mover in the north east ski scene which was very active, probably because of him and others like him. He may well have had a hand in the 1970 study which looked at possible skiing venues in northern England based on snow holding. That study was partly responsible for the establishment of Yad Moss whilst most of the other clubs already had a site developed, notably at Weardale.

Anyone remember the mid 1980s proposal for a giant artificial slope near wolsingham. Carnt see anything about it on the net but it was a big deal at the time. I think part of the concept was to benefit from snow skiing in the winter and possibly even snowmaking. A forerunner of the Middlesborough proposal but a lot bigger snowHead


The Ski Center was on the corner of Horne Road and Loos Road, it was in an old military stables building. It had a 15 M nursery slope and 35 M main slope, the matting was injection moulded plastic spines. That was changed to a better design made by Curver in the 90's.


I remember the mooted ski slope in weardale... vaguely.
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Thanks skitech snowHead
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Quote:
Anyone remember the mid 1980s proposal for a giant artificial slope near wolsingham
I remember the proposals well. I was living in Spennymoor at the time and would have been a relative stone's throw from the development....

I think of it most times I drive down the bank to Wolsingham from the Fir Tree direction (ie on the ride up to Weardale skiing). I think - but could be wrong - that the wooded hills on the A68 side of the village were where the skiing would have taken place(??). I also seem to recall that the plan wasn't just for skiing on plastic - but was to develop a mini ski resort (accommodation and all) based on snow skiing in winter. It sticks in my mind that I saw artists' impressions of the proposals - though the passage of 35 years has clouded some of that...

Each time the development comes to mind on the drive to Wolsingham, I also wonder how much skiing would be happening now if the proposals (as I recall them) had gone ahead. Without 100% Snow Factory snow, it would be none in a typical 21st century winter...
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I wondered in the past whether Allenheads slope would be a suitable place for an outdoor snow factory ? It might just about have everything necessary to work ?
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Have yet to ski at Allenheads...Why so good for a Snow Factory Peter S? Is it because of its (relative) urban location (vs middle of nowhere Weardale and Yad Moss)? Or does it have a river raging down the side of the slope for a guaranteed water supply Puzzled
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https://www.instantstreetview.com/@54.80234,-2.216265,134.11h,2.83p,3.12z
Here is the ski field with the rope tow set up. As you can see there is 3 phase power available, a sheltered grassy well drained run, a north facing slope, roadside access and parking, 430m elevation and an unlimited supply of water just above the ski field or just below it in the former fluorspar mine. The pub is also nearby! The city of Newcastle is an hour away. A snow factory should be good for up to 200m of skiing and the site has Potential for night operation. The snow factory can be leased and arrives in a container on the back of a lorry. It would be straightforward to set up and then remove with little permanent infrastructure needed which would be helpful in terms of planning permission. A small piste basher might even be available to lease, not far away! The question then would be whether the demand would be sufficient to cover the costs or even whether there is a better site nearer the city ? It would be expensive to run and probably too much of a risk for a club to operate but probably not viable for commercial operation. It would also need someone resident nearby to manage the operation.

Just an idea!
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@Peter S, sure that you didn't post that 7 days too late??? Laughing
Not quite sure that I can see the good folk of Allenheads and Dale & around going for that, somehow. Parking, huh..?
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To complete the set up, they would just need to upgrade the rope tow to a detachable 6 pack chairlift and build a day lodge, with kit hire and table-service restaurant wink
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Well, they kind of already have the last three, don't they?
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We really need to write a book about English skiing. It’s an interesting story
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How are they getting on with this?
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