Vivien Fairhurst, 1936-2022


Vivien fell in love with ice skating in 1949 after borrowing a pair of ice skates from her older sister Jean – it flooded her parents’ garden which froze quickly during the winters of the 1940s.

It was while sliding on the frozen grass of Childwall, Liverpool that Vivien’s parents, Vince and Jennie Higson, spotted her obvious natural talent and sent her to join the Liverpool Skating Club where she quickly impressed.

Vivien soon passed her first proficiency test and began competing all over Britain – traveling regularly to the capital to train in Richmond and Streatham.

His sister Jean Higson skated with Bob Hudson – becoming British champion in the 1953/54 season, before marrying Forrest Morton in April 1954 and retiring.

Bob wanted to continue and asked Vivien to partner with him. They immediately clicked and won various championships including the Great Britain Amateur Pair Championship in the 1954/55 season.

Their success continued, going on to compete for Great Britain at the 1955 European Championships in Budapest, Hungary – where she skated against elite competition from West Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

Just three weeks later, Vivien and Bob competed at the World Championships in Vienna where they skated against a stellar field of world champions and Olympic medalists.

In 1956, Vivien turned professional, which meant missing the 1956 Winter Olympics, in which she was considered a prospect. She immediately won the women’s professional championship in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

Following her success on the ice, Vivien began judging and became one of the few in the sport qualified to judge three figure skating disciplines: Figure Skating, Pair Skating and Dance. She judged a number of top skaters, including British Olympic champion Robin Cousins.

By the 1980s she had made her way into the elite of judging championships across Britain where she quickly established herself and was co-opted into the National Skating Association committee and its jury of first class.

Vivien, born November 13, 1936, died Saturday, March 26, 2022 and is survived by her husband Peter Fairhurst, her two children Janet and Paul and their spouses Steve and Karin, her six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. children.

Her grandchildren commented: “The whole family has so many great memories of Grandma, she was funny, cheeky, kind and an amazing cook – we will miss her so much, skate on Grandma!”


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