Becoming a Rookie with BRD

‘Wanna join?’ The flyer on my notice board had been screaming at me for almost a year before I actually worked up the courage to go along to one of the drop in sessions run by Bristol Roller Derby. My introduction to derby is one shared by many… I’d seen the film ‘Whip It’, thought it looked like fun, then happened to start working with someone who actually played the little known sport… In Bristol no less! I went to a bout in December 2014, and was instantly hooked! This is where I was handed the aforementioned flyer that proceeded to taunt me for almost a year.

The most recent team of rookies at their first bout. Image courtesy of Harriet Farren.

Continue reading “Becoming a Rookie with BRD”

BRD @ British Champs and SW:UK 2015

10647168_304851909701940_6837568695836434300_nBRD are very excited to announce we’ll be taking part in the 2015 British Championships. Our women’s A team are in Tier 2 Division South and our men’s team Vice Quad are in the Tier 3 Men’s Regional division. Our women’s B team will also be representing BRD in the South West by taking part for the second time in the growing 2015  SW:UK tournament, this year they are in the North Division.

You can check out our opponents below.

2015 is going to be MEGA!
Continue reading “BRD @ British Champs and SW:UK 2015”

New Media Sponsor

365 logo sq1Bristol Roller Derby is proud to announce our new media sponsor,

365Bristol is the leading events and entertainment website in Bristol and a proud media sponsor of Bristol Roller Derby.

Check out their site for recommended bars and restaurants in Bristol as well as businesses, events and things to do in and around the City.

New 2014 Draft Unveiled!

Ahead of an action-packed Easter weekend of derby, we’ve just announced a brand new draft for our A & B travel teams! Check out our team pages for the new line-ups.

We’re really excited to see lots of fresh faces storming their way into the travel teams, as well as some regular Harlot B-teamers progressing up to the A team. Congratulations everyone!

Tomorrow our Bees start their hunt for SW:UK tournament glory by taking on the Dorset Rollergirls in the first round, before the A team scramble to Leeds for a bout on Easter Sunday. Good luck to all our chicks taking part, it’s going to be a cracking weekend of derby!

Bristol Roller Derby: 2013 in Review

Wow, what a year its been! Let’s have a look back at what Bristol Roller Derby got up to in 2013…

The League kicked off the year in January, with the A-team (ranked 29th by ERDR) playing the first bout, which was almost a no-goer due to the snow! We visited the lovely Dolly Rockit Rollers in freezing Leicester, and took home the win 237-166.

March brought a double header, with BRD as the hosts. As usual with all our home bouts, league members all chipped in and things ran like clockwork. Thank you to all those who have volunteered their time, we couldn’t do it without you!

The Harlot’s B-team (affectionately referred-to as ‘the Bees’, ranked 95th) took on Mean Valley Roller Girls. The score ended 227-162 in Mean Valleys favour.

The A team faced Leeds Roller Dolls B team, 245-91 to us, continuing a great start to 2013.

Photo by  Adam Gasson |
Photo by Adam Gasson |

The Bees certainly have been busy! In April we were winging our way East, to bout against the Royal Windsor Roller Girls B team, the B-Headers. We fought well but Windsor were triumphant 204-131.

The Spring was set to be a full schedule of bouts for all the hard working Harlots, as both teams headed to Lincolnshire in April. The Lincolnshire Bombers hosted two very closed games. We won the A game, 193-171. The Bees game, went to the Bombers, 148-128. Nail biting stuff!

May, and our Harlots A-team faced possibly their biggest challenge to date. We took part in the Roller Rumble, a Southern regional UKRDA tournament, held in Alexandra Palace alongside the Great British Tattoo Show.

Seeded 4th, the Harlots first game on Saturday was against Brummies, the Central City Roller Girls. A fantastically close game, in which CCR just edged ahead, 218-204. Later that day we played Kent Roller Girls that ended in the 1st win of the weekend for us, 272-107.

Photo by Jason Ruffell |
Photo by Jason Ruffell |

Battered and bruised from Saturdays games, we played Brighton Rockers Roller Derby on Sunday, winning 251-175.

With about 5 minutes to lick our wounds we were straight back on the track to play CCR for the second time. By now we were old friends and spent a good few time outs discussing who would have to play again straight after, against London. Sadly for our hearts (but not our bodies) it was Birmingham  who went on, beating us again with a super close score 196-172.

Photo by Jason Ruffell |
Photo by Jason Ruffell |

Despite being a fit bunch of ladies, we were some-what unaccustomed to playing 4 bouts in one weekend (in what was essentially a greenhouse!). However… everything really clicked that weekend! Maybe it was the adrenalin, creating extreme focus? Or perhaps it was the quality of youth hostel sleep? Or maybe the few questionable fast food meals? Anyway, we all left feeling pretty proud and I think all the Harlots would agree; it was one of the most fun and rewarding things we’ve done as a team.

We won the hearts of the crowd, 3rd place and jumped up to 18th in the rankings!

No sooner were the A’s back from London, than the B-team were off to France in June for our first game outside the UK! The Bees played BMO Roller Derby in Brest, won some great new friends, almost missed a few ferries, and unfortunately lost, 279-86.

The A team, not wanting to be left out, hopped on a plane a week later to Stuttgart, Germany. The Stuttgart Valley Roller Girls hosted a fantastic game, with a huge crowd. Showing us and their fans just how its done, winning 160-94.

With so much long distance traveling this year, we have continued to raise money for the league and our chosen charity of the year, Survive. Our home teams held auctions, sponsored skates and bingo nights, but its not hard to put your hand in your pocket when you’re having so much fun!

Photo by Adam Gasson |
Photo by Adam Gasson |

Our June double header; the Bees and our newly formed mens team take centre stage. Porto Roller Derby came all the way from Portugal and put up a great fight, while skating short. The Harlot B-team won, 236-133

Recruitment for the boys stepped up a gear late last year, with skating skills and tactical knowledge progressing at lightening speed! Vice Quad was born in January and along with this bout we have had scrimmages and closed bouts with the likes of Devon, SDRD B and SWS. The June bout saw Vice Quad played their first open bout as a team and for some skaters it was their first public bout ever, cementing their new found love for Roller Derby. VQ did BRD proud against Milton Keynes Quads of War and this exciting game ended 251-166 to QoW. The boys will have their first international game in early 2014.

Photo by Matthew Lord |
Photo by Matthew Lord |

We also can’t forget our stripey friends, the refs and NSO’s from team Zebra, without whom there would be no order! This year, not only did they help out at home, they travelled with the teams and hosted our first Officials boot camp in July, providing invaluable knowledge for around 30 attendees.

The first of Julys games took the Harlots A-team North, to the home of the Sheffield Steel All Stars. We suffered a few injuries in this game, but soldiered on. The All Stars won 167-155.

A week later they were back up country with the Middlesbrough Milk Rollers who showed us they were definitely ‘coming’ in the last game of the season! 269-99.

Our rookies started their fresh meat training late in 2012, and have been coming on leaps and bounds since then. We can’t really refer to any of them as rookies any more, they are just too good! At the end of July they were ‘sorted’ into our home teams, during a Harry Potter themed scrimmage.

We’ve also started seeing some new skaters moving up to the league from our weekly ‘drop in derby’ sessions. The family is growing!

Photo by Jennifer Rollason |
Photo by Jennifer Rollason |

The whole league then took a well earned rest in August, but were raring to go in September… Hot Wheel Roller Derby came down from Leeds, with their heavily defense game play,  and took no prisoners against the A-team, 282-112.

Our final home double header of the year, in December, saw our A-team rematch against the Hellfire Harlots. Unfortunately the Nottingham Harlots fire could not be quenched by our Harbour Harlots, 225-128.

We had almost 500 spectators at this event and the Bees gave them a real show, taking on Cornwall Roller Derby’s Atlantic Breakers. Lead changes were non stop down to the last jam, which gave the win to Cornwall by only 4 points, 180-176.

Photo by Alan Thuc |
Photo by Alan Thuc |

Thank you so much to all the skaters, nso’s, refs, cake bakers, coaches, first aiders and anyone else who has supported us in 2013. We can’t wait for 2014!

Written by E-Z Roller

Harbour Harlots Hit Deal or No Deal

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 00.36.36

Though far more used to facing opposition as part of a team, on August 26th our very own Tequila Jammer stood boldly alone to meet a cunning and unpredictable foe, an opponent unlike any she’d battled before…the Banker.

As a contestant on hit gameshow Deal Or No Deal Tequila had to hold her nerve and pit her wits against the boxes, hoping to keep it low, keep it blue. Would she be able to spank the Banker or would he knock her aside and dash her dreams? This was one situation where her Harlot team-mates would not be able to help. Or would they…

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 00.43.17Asked about the experience, Tequila said “My time at Deal or No Deal was absolutely amazing, I arrived during the festival special and spent my first week in fancy dress with lemons on my head, it was brilliant. The other contestants are so lovely, and have become my third family (Bristol Roller Derby of course being my second). I was really nervous during my game because it meant so much to me and I had seen huge highs and lows during my time filming (Paddy winning 250k and Jolene and Rich leaving with a penny). I hadn’t told many people I was going to be on Deal so when all of my friends and teammates came rolling out to surprise me I couldn’t quite believe it, at that moment I felt as though I had won the 250k, I couldn’t have been happier to see them all, it gave me the strength to carry on my game.”

Black Thorn, the Harlots Vice Captain, finally spills the secrets about how the day came together…

“When I took the phone call from the producers of Deal asking if I could try to get the team together to surprise Tequila Jammer during her show the overall feeling was one of relief – I knew she was going to be on the show having written her reference, and keeping it secret from the rest of the Harlots was proving almost impossible!

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 00.44.21

Tequila had taken a few weeks off of training for filming so we’d all been missing her and couldn’t wait to support her – especially as it meant appearing on the show itself and meeting the legend that it Noel Edmonds! It was a bit of a logistical nightmare getting 10 Harlots to the TV studios without Tequila getting wind of it or the rest of the league finding out, but other than a pretty heated argument about which of us would hipcheck Noel if the opportunity arose it went without a hitch!

The day itself was great fun, starting with us being sneaked into the greenroom during filming and then into position backstage whilst the contestants were having lunch. We attempted to ‘choreograph’ our entrance with the Director but if you watched the show it is pretty apparent that this didn’t go entirely to plan – The Blizzard ending up with a black eye courtesy of Da Silva Surfer certainly wasn’t in the script!

It was clear from Tequila’s reaction that we successfully kept it a secret, seeing her realise that her sister (The Wrecknician) was there after telling a small white lie about not being able to get away from work made us all tear up a bit! We had a great day out and are all incredibly proud of how well Tequila did, if a teensy bit jealous of her upcoming trip to Championships paid for by her winnings!”

If you missed the episode or want to watch it again, it can be found here:


Just Cause

Photo by Adam Gasson |
Photo by Adam Gasson |

Following twelve months of successful fundraising Bristol Roller Derby are thrilled to be able to present our Charity of the Year, Survive, with a grand total of £1527.35. The money has been raised through specific fundraising events, donations and passing the bucket at every opportunity, and members are very proud of the amount raised. BRD members think so highly of the work carried out by Survive that it has been recently selected as Charity of the Year for a second time. The Bristol and South Gloucestershire Survive helps women, children and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse. It provides a huge variety of services including a helpline, confidence building workshops and outreach support programmes. It also runs three secret refuges in the region which offer a welcome retreat for those in need.

Anna Smith, Chief Executive of Survive said

“We would like to thank Bristol Roller Derby for all your efforts and raising such a great sum for Survive. It was fantastic that some of our staff could come and see a bout at the weekend and be presented with a nice big cheque! The money is going towards the Freedom programme – our group work programme for women who have experienced domestic abuse, to help them recover from their experiences, recognise potential future abusers and recognise the effects of domestic abuse on children. The programme makes a real difference to the lives of women and children who have experienced abuse. Another thank you is due as you have named us your Charity of the Year for 2013 too. We are looking forward to working with you again this year.”

2013 Season Tickets

tickets-w200We promised you that 2013 was going to be the best year yet for Bristol Roller Derby and with the announcement of the afterparty venue and line-up, March the 2nd is going to be the date to kick off your derby addiction in Bristol.

Firstly though, we have a series of exciting announcements relating to advance ticket sales. For the first time ever, Season Tickets will be available for all the BRD home games. These super-special limited edition design laminated tickets will cost you just £22 and will:

  • – save you 50p on usual advance ticket prices for the games;
  • – get you in to all the BRD home games and after parties;
  • – get you an exclusive BRD goodie bag;
  • – enter you into all our bout raffles; and
  • – give you exclusive access to our ‘family and friends’ games which are not open to the general public.

So how do you get one of these babies? Head on over to and sign up there. Then on 2nd March, bring us the cash on the door and we’ll swap it for one of our funky laminate-and-lanyard season tickets. Already bought your advance ticket? Not a problem! On 2nd March, we will swap your advance ticket for a season ticket, you just need to pay the difference. Terms and conditions apply to season tickets, see posters on the day for
more details. There are just 50 of these tickets available, and they will be sold on a firstcome, first-served basis, with those people who’ve signed up on line being given priority.

But wait! Did we mention ‘advance ticket sales raffle’? Yes we did! All advanced purchase tickets (including those who sign-up for season tickets) will be entered into a free raffle. This will be drawn in advance of the game and winners announced at half time. You won’t be able to buy a ticket for this on the day, the only way to enter is to buy a ticket in advance! Prizes include BRD merchandise, a pair of tickets to the next home game and for the star prize, a season ticket! So head over to Brown Paper Tickets now and get in on the action.

The after-party for this bout is looking to be the hot ticket in Bristol on the 2nd. The venue has been announced as the Cavern Club at 10 All Saints Lane in Bristol, and the awesome band line-up includes Belladonna, Von Bartha and The Cortège. The venue capacity is strictly limited, so get your advanced ticket, and get there early if you don’t want to miss out.

Tickets for the game, which also get you into the after-party, are just £6 in advance (£8 on the door) for over 15s and £4 advance (£6 on the door) for children from 7-15, whilst kids under 7 go free. Group tickets are also available (in advance only – 6 adult tickets for £30). You can buy online from Brown Paper Tickets. Doors open at 14.00 with the first game starting at 15.00, and the bouts ending at 8pm.

This event will be supporting our 2013 nominated charity, Survive

Die Hard derby love in Bristol!


It is with great excitement that we can announce that from the 1st November 2012 the two Bristol leagues, Bristol Roller Derby and Anarchic Die Hard Derby, are merging into one league!

ADHD was set up shortly after the last intake into Bristol Roller Derby was closed in 2011 and we were unable to accept new recruits. For a few girls the idea of waiting to learn to skate and play roller derby was just too much to bear, and so armed with a truck load of enthusiasm and dedication they formed a new Bristol team. Over the past 18 months they have worked hard to nail their minimum skills, and recently held their graduation bout with skaters from Bristol Roller Derby delighted to also be guest skating, benching and officiating at it. A special shout out has to go to Jet Reckless, who took on a personal mission to support and coach ADHD in any spare time she could fit around her normal training.

The idea of eventually all joining forces has been a subject of conversation amongst the Bristol derby crew for a long time, so to finally make this idea a reality is something that we are all delighting in.

Yet again our intake day got a huge amount of interest, and so our new Fresh Meat girls can now look forward to being drafted on to one of FOUR home teams (ADHD, Daughters of Anarchy, Project Mayhem or Smash Vandals) when they graduate. We’re excited too about what this means for our travel teams, the Harbour Harlots, with so much talent on offer!

ADHD Graduation Bout
ADHD Graduation Bout. © What The F4 Photography |

Ship Shape and Bristol Smash’em, May 2011

This is Bristol

LIVE roller derby will be played publicly in Bristol for the first time later this month at the University of the West of England.

Ship Shape and Bristol Smash’em will see teams from Bristol Roller Derby league – Project Mayhem, Smash Vandals and Daughters of Anarchy – battle it out in an afternoon of full-contact, fast-paced sport.

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Bristol 24-7

Live roller derby action is coming to Bristol for the very first time. The city’s roller derby league is holding its first ever public bout on Saturday, May 21 at UWE Exhibition and Conference Centre, Frenchay.

‘Ship Shape and Bristol Smash’em!’ will see Bristol Roller Derby’s three home teams – Project Mayhem, Smash Vandals and Daughters of Anarchy – battle it out in an afternoon of full-contact, fast-paced sporting entertainment.

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Guide to Bristol

Guide 2 BristolThe city’s roller derby league, Bristol Roller Derby, is holding its first ever public bout ‘Ship Shape and Bristol Smash’em!’ next Saturday, 21st May at UWE Sports Centre, Frenchay.

Roller derby is a fast-paced, full contact sport played on quad (four wheeled) skates, and it has taken the city of Bristol by storm.

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