This old newspaper sketch shows Aucklanders at play in the Choral Hall, which looks different now but still stands as part of Auckland University's Symonds Street campus. It's the cream building at centre, above.
In the 1880s, young groovers flocked there to go "rinking" - their word for skating - with a live orchestra on the mezzanine floor to pump up the excitement. Meanwhile, chaperones prowled to ensure no 'mashers' (over-eager young men) took advantage of single ladies.
There's a rinking scene in Scarlet & Magenta, followed by another more raunchy scene which would have shocked the chaperones. I'll be out and about talking about rinking and other Victorian amusements after the book launches on August 23, 2016.
If you'd like me to to a group you're part of, click here to drop me an email.
I give fun talks about our ancestors' lives – and their amorous escapades.
Naughty goings-on were more common than you might think!
By the way, the skates Victorians strapped onto their boots probably looked like the one at right - a new style invented in Massachusetts in 1863 by a James Plimpton. For some reason, the name is spelled Plympton in this old ad.
This 'rocking' skate allowed people to turn corners by leaning into the curve. Earlier versions pretty much only allowed skaters to roll in a straight line, leading to frequent accidents and injuries.
PS I love pen-and-ink drawings like the ones on this page from the days before photos arrived in newspapers. Huge thanks to the people who set up the wonderful newspaper archive at Papers Past, allowing everyone access to these appealing treasures from the past.