The People who make your Barons work : Lewis Smith


As you may be aware, the APL Solihull Barons were awarded the “Organisation of the Year” award this season. This was awarded by the other teams in the league based on the following criteria:

– reception and welcome provided by the rink
– friendliness of the club
– facilities of the rink
– opposition fans

In a series of articles over the summer, we will be going around some of our off-ice volunteers and sponsors and thanking them for all that they have done.

First up is Lewis Smith.

Lewis will be known by most supporters as the guy that gets all the signage done – barrier wraps; sponsorship boards etc – and produces the content of the programs (along with Denise Crowe). Basically, anything that you see with the Barons name and logo on it is down to Lewis as he created the new logo and branding.

Not surprisingly, Lewis is a graphic artist by trade and works for Signarama (opposite the Wheatsheaf pub at the bottom of Hobs Moat Road). He makes a good cup of coffee as well.

He works 10 hours a week just on the programs in addition to the work he does on the signage. He has also helped recently with the promotional material on our recent free family skate sessions and learn to play hockey initiatives that have started in May.

Lewis started skating at 15 and has known Bob (Zamboni) and Eileen (box office) since then….which is quite a few years ago….and has been a steward in the 1990s at MK Kings games and more recently at the infamous foam parties

He has also been a season ticket holder in the past for the Coventry Blaze

His wife, Kerry, is also a sponsor of the Barons and is regularly down at games as well.

It is thanks to Barons equipment manager, Gary Rogers (who we will be interviewing at a later date) approaching Signarama regarding sponsorship two seasons ago that Lewis is now part of the Barons community.

So, hopefully you all know Lewis a bit better now and can appreciate all the hard work that he puts in to make our match nights what they are. If you see Lewis at a game – go and say hello – he is a really nice guy as well!

Thanks for all you do Lewis !

Barons Anderton makes England u19 squad

England u19s including the Barons Brandon Anderton fifth from right (Gary Apsley)
England u19s including the Barons Brandon Anderton fifth from right (Gary Apsley)

The Solihull Barons would like to congratulate squad player Brandon Anderton on his selection to the England under 19s squad to take on Scotland this Friday at ice Sheffield.

See below for the full EIHA press release :

The English Ice Hockey Association and Scottish Ice Hockey UK are delighted to announce their teams for the u19 international which takes place in Sheffield this Friday.

Now held as a curtain raiser to the Conference Weekend, the junior international is one of British hockey’s longest running fixtures and is always a keenly contested game.

The two sides are playing on Friday night (8pm face off) at Ice Sheffield as part of the Orange Friday promotion and hopefully a large crowd will be in attendance to cheer the players on. Admission to the game is FREE.

At stake on Friday night is the Frank Dempster Memorial Trophy. Frank was a former player with Ayr before also serving as coach, manager and secretary of the club.

He held posts with the British Ice Hockey Association and was President of Scottish Ice Hockey Association. Frank Dempster was elected to the Ice Hockey Journalists Hall of Fame in 1992 – his full biography can be found here. Frank died in December 2004.

His Hall of Fame citation says: “Name a job in British ice hockey and it’s a fair bet that Frank Dempster has done it. He may not have pleased all the people all the time, but one thing cannot be argued, it would be difficult to find anybody who worked harder or longer for the sport, often without receiving anything like the credit his efforts deserved.”

The trophy named in his honour is a fitting memorial and so eagerly awaited by the players and coaches of England and Scotland.

Our 2017 edition features players on both sides from Elite League, Premier League and National League levels – possibly the two most experienced lineups in recent memory.

The Junior International – England v Scotland u19s – faces off at 8pm on Friday 26 May at Ice Sheffield. Admission on Friday night is free.


35 Ashley Smith – Hull Pirates
32 Joshua Crane – Coventry Blaze

14 Lewis Baldwin – Sheffield Steeldogs
77 Ben Nethersell – Swindon Wildcats
4 Oliver Stone – Swindon Wildcats
15 Edward Knaggs – Milton Keynes Lightning
56 Tom Stubley – Peterborough Phantoms
30 Samuel Jackson – Chelmsford
25 Josh Tetlow – Bracknell Bees
5 Jordan Stokes – Hull Pirates

8 Ryan Kemp – Deeside Dragons
55 Ross Kennedy – Deeside Dragons
16 Brandon Anderton – Solihull
31 Adam Finlinson – Swindon Wildcats
22 Jordan Kelsall – Okanagan Hockey Academy
44 Kyle Smith – Swindon Wildcats
18 William Stead – Bracknell Bees
91 Rio Grinell Parke – Bracknell Bees
10 Brandon Ayliffe – Chelmsford
11 Cole Shudra – Sheffield Steelers
9 Joseph Colton – Sheffield
27 Josh Smith – Bracknell Bees

Head Coach – Ryan Aldridge
Assistant Coach – Ian Pound
Manager – Paul Kelsall
Sports Therapist – Charley Keen

EIHA releases 2017/18 NIHL playoff details

May 16, 2017

The League Management Committee of National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) are delighted to confirm that there will be a National Playoff Championship weekend at the end of the 17/18 season.

Over the last two weekends the South and North clubs have met to agree membership of their leagues and playing format for the regular season.

The LMC can now confirm that the playoffs will take place over a four week period at the end of the regular season, culminating in a Playoff Weekend at a central venue.

In both NIHL North and South D1 the top eight teams will qualify for the playoffs. The first three rounds will be regionalised to achieve a North and South playoff champion.

The regional rounds will be a home and away two-legged, aggregate score tie.

The likely timetable will be:
Week 1 – Regional QF North 1v8 2v7 3v6 4v5. South 1v8 2v7 3v6 4v5
Week 2 – Regional SF North (1 or 8) v (4 or 5), (2 or 7) v (3 or 6). South (1 or 8) v (4 or 5), (2 v 7) v (3 v 6)
Week 3 – Regional Final North, Regional Final South
Week 4 – National Playoff Championship (weekend format)

The weekend will feature the two playoff finalists from NIHL North and South playing crossover semi finals on the Saturday, ie North 1 v South 2, South 1 v North 2. The Grand Final will face off on the Sunday.

There are likely to be other fixtures included in the weekend with more details to follow in due course as arrangements are firmed up.

The LMC are working hard with our stakeholders to confirm the date for this showpiece event – once everything is confirmed the details will be published via clubs and on EIHA media platforms.

An NIHL spokesperson said: “This is an exciting development to celebrate the first season of a massively expanded National League.

“A playoff weekend is a fantastic way to end the season, and a huge part of British hockey’s traditions. The LMC are delighted to be able to achieve a joined up, National Finals weekend.

“We are grateful to our clubs for their unanimous support for the idea over the past two weeks at the section meetings and the LMC will work hard to confirm all details as soon as possible.”