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Northamptonshire Advertiser 23rd December 1965
Skew Bridge Country Club
Skew Bridge club
The club buildings

Membership rules fees for skiing and membership club badge
Membership card
The club badge

A short background and history
of the Skew Bridge Country Club

Open fields were a predominent feature of the surrounding countryside where the Skew Bridge Country Club now stands.

In 1952 the ground was excavated for sand and gravel, thus leaving a gaping hole, which when filled with water left a lake ideal for the then up and coming sport of water skiing.

Friends were invited to this new and exciting innovation, and a Club was formed called the Skew Bridge Ski Club, so called, because of the awkward road bridge crossing the main road and the Sidney brook, near the Club entrance.

A Nissen Hut was erected on site alongside the lake to form the original Club House. This was soon followed by a new Club House on the style of a large Swiss Chalet. The soil from the lake was used to build a dry ski slope and thus started the formation of one of the best Country Clubs now in existence in the Midlands.

In the meantime, ownership of the Club had changed twice. So from a small and unique assembly, a much larger community had to be catered for.

The building of four new squash courts; the conversion of the Nissen Hut into a new bar and an ideal spot for disco parties; the new extension to the restaurant in the main Club House; two hard tennis courts and a swimming pool, have all added to make the Club a comprehensive sporting unit, as well as a Club to offer food and catering for all tastes and a range for all pockets.

Golf and cricket will take its place with the other facilities on offer to the members, and with planning consent to build accommodation overlooking the lake, the Club will go from strength to strength and give pleasure and satisfaction to all its members, and to Mr. Derek Morgan the chairman of this thriving sports centre.

Note: Skew Bridge was a railway bridge which crossed the Northampton Road, close to the site. It was almost diagonal across the road, at a skewed angle!

Rushden is World's Newest Ski Resort

Rushden has sprouted another miniature mountain with an artificial snow ski slope over 200 feet long which can be used all the year round.

The slope, which cost something like £12,000, is the brain child of Mr. John Wills, proprietor of Rushden Skew Bridge Water Ski Club, and he thinks it makes the club unique.

"I think it is the only club in the world where you can water ski and snow ski on the one club premises," he said.

The slope, which, is covered in a plastic bristle, almost like thousands and thousands of toothbrushes, is the largest of its kind in the country, except for one in Scotland which has been built, on the side of a natural mountain.

Although you would never guess it now, the slope was at one time just a large mound of earth. To knock it into shape he has used something like 2,000 tons of top soil, 3,500 square yards of turf and hundreds of trees and bulbs.

There is a bump, called the nursery, half way down the slope where the inexperienced and children can ski from.


At the moment, Mr. Wills has a professional ski instructor, Mr. Joe Hohl who was born in Switzerland, taking special coaching sessions on Saturdays and Sundays.

"Because of the terrific demand I have not been able to open the slope to the general public. One person who uses the slope covers a 200 mile round trip to do so. Because of the demand and from a safety point of view I can only allow members of the public who have experience in skiing to use the slope."

"Eventually I hope to have a full-time ski instructor, and then we will probably be able to cope with complete novices", Mr. Wills said.

Is it an expensive sport? Mr. Wills said it was possible to hire all the ski equipment for 2s. 6d. a session from the club. The cost of each run works out at about 10s. There is also a 5s. charge per day for temporary members.

The slope is fitted with floodlighting for night skiing and even piped music.

But seriously, other than the obvious advantage of having any additional sporting amenity in the area, there are other not so obvious advantages.

Mrs. Mary Wills said she had been told by an experienced ski enthusiast that one could be taught to ski on an artificial slope between three and ten days quicker than on snow.

"People who go on ski holidays find that half their time is taken up learning how to control and stand up", she said.

"If people have experience of skiing on an artificial slope it only takes them a matter of days to get used to snow, and they can spend the rest of their holiday skiing," he said.

Although it is an artificial slope all the thrills of genuine skiing can be found. The expert can reach speeds of 20 to 30 miles an hour down the 200ft slope.

The fact that Rushden should have one of the best artificial ski slopes in the country—there are only three or four—could put Rushden on the snow ski map.

Anglia Television plan to show a 12 minute film of people using the slope on Boxing Day.
The badge Members on the artificial ski slope
A badge for the Ski Club
A few of the weekend ski enthusiasts taking advantage of the professional coaching offered by
Joe Hohl. The man in the centre is demonstrating a snow plough, used to slow one down.
Ski Slope - Floodlights

Open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Course of 6 lessons by qualified instructor, including hire of equipment and additional
½ hour practice following instruction,
£4. 4s. 0d. inclusive.

Bookable and payable in advance.

Alternative dates arranged if
weather is unsuitable.

Skew Bridge Ski Lodge
for Members & Guests.

Strenuous sport calls for relaxation and refreshment, splendidly supplied at Skew Bridge in the Alpine Ski Lodge which captures the true skiing spirit of friendly informality.

The Ski Lodge is a perfect setting for apres ski entertainment, spaciously designed in alpine style with light bright pinewood.

The bar has everything including snacks of all kinds. The restaurant serves a high class Continental and English cuisine with a wide choice and pleasant Austro-Swiss service. Nothing could be more enjoyable!

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