Perilous Fun at Vauxhall Roller Disco

“I’m going to a roller disco tonight!” I announced excitedly to the office on Friday morning. Almost everyone stopped what they were doing to congratulate me on my excellent choice of Friday night activity and to show me Facebook photos of their own trips to London’s only permanent skating rink in Vauxhall, everyone in varying states of inebriation and neon fancy-dress.

I wasn’t 100% sure that getting completely wasted before strapping oneself to wheelie shoes was a good idea, but the tickets were booked now and, anyhow, we’d already bought our comedy tutus. Which, as any idiot knows, is standard roller disco-wear.

Despite best intentions to arrive no more than just slightly tiddly, we arrived pissed enough to have taken photos with a TfL engineer named John, and demanded a total stranger on the train to play Wonderwall for us on his guitar, which we sang along to exceedingly badly.

John from TfL would have fitted right in with his fabulous neon jumpsuit.
John from TfL would have fitted right in with his fabulous neon jumpsuit.

Needless to say, we were a Health & Safety nightmare. Fortunately Roller Disco seems to give few shits about such piffling issues as basic safety procedure, and in any case is teeming with marshalls who weave their way among the staggerers at top speed, stopping only to pull up the fallen from the floor.

Roller Disco Vauxhall

Roller Disco has two rinks – one playing house music and the other playing disco, but you don’t really notice what’s playing because you’re too busy trying to lurch around the rink with some modicum of finesse. The joke for Becky and Carla, my roller buddies for the evening, was that over ten years ago I had taken up artistic roller skating, possibly the least cool sport in the world except for darts and curling. Expectations were, therefore, pretty high.

Vauxhall Roller Disco

…Although, sadly, it turns out that doing an arabesque is not like riding a bike. I was staggering around the rink like a wounded water buffalo with the rest of them, stacking it in the first forty seconds and impaling my wrist on the pointy bit of a Links of London Eiffel Tower charm. I was having such a jolly time careering around the rink and chugging down Smirnoff Ices (ahem. When in Rome, eh?) that I didn’t even notice it was turning septic until I got home.

Vauxhall Roller Disco

Minor injuries and loss of dignity aside, we had a marvellous time. We got to behave like delinquents and drink the disgusting sugary drinks of our youth. Would I recommend it to anyone looking for a sophisticated evening out on the town? Absolutely not, but if you’ve got a gaggle of fun-loving mates and don’t mind making a complete tit of yourself in public, it makes a change from the pub. (And wrist guards are provided for raging pussies the especially safety-conscious, so there’s no excuse.)

We visited Roller Disco on a Friday night with advance tickets at £12.50 a head. You can find it at Miles St, SW8 1RZ, near Vauxhall tube, and buy tickets online here.


Author: Emily Gibson

Emily is an urban adventurer, blogger and glutton foodie on an epic quest to uncover the best things to eat, drink and do in London. She lives in East London and loves ceviche, cycling and magic shows. Lifelong nemeses include beetroot, beards and wine served in tumblers.