Gigantic Pyjama Roller Skate Chase Across London

Pyjama-clad skaters at St Paul’s Cathedral

Pyjama skaters rolling past Blackfriars

Pyjama skaters rolling past Blackfriars

Skaters at Westminster Abbey

Skaters at Westminster Abbey

Walkers and shoppers in London yesterday couldn’t believe their eyes as over 100 roller skaters in pyjamas skated past to celebrate The Runaway Roller Skate.

Seeing over 100 skaters dressed as Mr Ellwood in pyjamas skating through London today brought back feelings of childhood joy to everyone.”

— Mick Le Moignan

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, September 4, 2023/ — Walkers and shoppers in Hyde Park and central London streets yesterday couldn’t believe their eyes as over 100 roller skaters dressed in pyjamas skated past, chasing a mouse riding a 1950s “Jacko” roller skate. The cavalcade was held to celebrate the publication of a special, Golden Anniversary edition of John Vernon Lord’s much-loved children’s classic, The Runaway Roller Skate.

A London Street Skater, Charlotte said “It was such fun skating through the streets with everyone in their PJs. That’s why I love this city.”

The beautifully illustrated book tells the story of a conservative city gent, Mr Ellwood, who loves roller skating in the country, admiring the view. His idyllic rural holiday is rudely interrupted when a mischievous Mouse creeps into his bedroom and steals one of his precious skates, riding off through a hole in the door and out of the house.

Mr Elwood, still wearing his distinctive, blue-and-white striped pyjamas, accompanied by his pet cockerel, chases after the mouse on his one remaining skate to try and recover his stolen property.

So begins one of British children’s literature’s most iconic picture books, remembered and loved by millions who grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

John Vernon Lord, author and illustrator of The Runaway Roller Skate, said “I wrote and illustrated this book over 50 years ago and I’m delighted that it’s going to be available again. The inspiration for it was my annoyance at a fellow schoolboy “borrowing” one of my skates. It’s amazing to me that people enjoyed the book so much that they decided to skate through London in their pyjamas to celebrate its Golden Anniversary.”

The Runaway Roller Skate has been out of print for over 20 years, with occasional, dog-eared, second-hand copies available on the internet, often at exorbitant prices.

The publisher, Mick Le Moignan, of Bouley Bay Books, said “The Runaway Roller Skate was my children’s favourite book, but I found it had been out of print for 20 years and would cost up to £100 for a second-hand copy. It has been a labour of love to bring this magical book back to life in the 50th Anniversary edition.

“Seeing over 100 skaters dressed as Mr Ellwood in pyjamas skating through London today brought back feelings of childhood joy to everyone. I can’t thank the London Street Skate community enough for their love and support in this wonderful tribute.”

50 years after its first publication, the Golden Anniversary edition has been lovingly remastered and reprinted to bring this wonderful story and its magnificent illustrations to new generations of children and adults. The book is held in particular affection by skaters, many of whom credit the book with having set them off on their favourite pastime.

Published by Bouley Bay Books, The Runaway Roller Skate will be available soon from all good bookshops and online. RRP £12.99.

Notes and useful links for editors:

Additional photos and credits available

The Runaway Roller Skate is available from all good bookshops and online. RRP £12.99. Review copies are available on request.

London Street Skate ( is a voluntary organisation which enables skaters to congregate en masse and ride safely through London’s landmarks. Shepherded by a dozen or so hi-vis-clad marshals, expert skaters who clear the way through the traffic and keep everyone together and safe, they have a privileged perspective on a London that is miraculously free of traffic jams and crowds.

The Friday evening skate is for more experienced skaters, the intermediates roll on Wednesday evenings and the Sunday afternoon “Snail Stroll” caters for all, including beginners, so long as they can all stop, turn and control their speed.

LSS Pyjama Skate Invitation with skating and safety rules:

Media enquiries:

Ben Cameron

Cameron PM

+447903 951957

[email protected]

Publication enquiries:

Mick Le Moignan

Bouley Bay Books

+447720 845 214 until 7 Sept 2023, from 9 Sept on +61 0403 039164

[email protected]

Ben Cameron
Cameron Publicity and Marketing
+447903951957 ext.
[email protected]

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