Derek Drury, like many a skater of his time began skating on rollers but by his teens had transferred his skill to ice. He skated regularly at the Manchester Ice Place in Cheetham Hill and enjoyed ice dancing, passing his bronze ice dance test in 1949. Derek joined the NSA in the same year and has been a lifelong member.
Derek married in 1956 and moved around the country. He had a spell in Reading during the 1960’s but eventually he and his wife settled in The Wirral.
As well as Manchester Derek skated at Liverpool and Birmingham. After a competitive skating career, he was added to the Ice Dance Judging Panel in 1977.
It was as a judge that he was most respected. He mentored new judges and was always ready to invite them to travel with him, especially in the days when expenses were not paid to probationary judges.
Derek would watch the Deeside skaters as often as he could, and he offered advice and encouragement to judges, coaches and skaters alike. His opinion was always welcome.
He did not confine himself to skating, he also organised competitions and ice dance socials. The Deeside drawn partner competitions were legendary and were the inspiration behind the Recreational Ice Dance League, where he was often a judge. For many ice dancers, though, he will be remembered for his invention of The Hickory Hoedown.
Derek was a keen photographer and could often be seen taking ice photos.
In recent years, with failing health, Derek moved into care near his home, in The Wirral.
Derek sadly died at the end of June but will be remembered as one of the kindest and most helpful men in the skating community.
The funeral will take place at 12 noon on 23rd July at St. Peter’s Church, Village Road, Heswall, Wirral CH60 0DZ.
Obituary by Elaine Hooper, British Ice Skating Historian