For the first time in 5 years last winter, part of Welney Wash was used as an ice skating rink.
Skating enthusiasts used to enjoy skating on the Wash every year, but recent mild winters have meant no skating has taken place there since the end of 2003. Here's hoping the 2009/10 season will be a good one!
The last Fenland Skating Championships were held in 1997, some 11 years ago, and the last major races were held way back in 1986 where the great Babs Horn (Adam Giles' Great Uncle) ex Olympic and British skating and cycling champion presented the awards.
Last winter members of Welney and District Skating Club were delighted to find the waters frozen over and conditions good enough to skate on.
Club chairman Roger Giles from Giles Landscapes, a sponsor of the skating said: "I was delighted when I saw the ice this morning and it's been great fun to be out there again. I've had emails from skating enthusiasts from all over the country wanting to know about Welney Wash. We're hopeful that the British and Fenland Skating Championships can be held at the weekend. It could be at Welney, Whittlesey or Bury Fen depending on the condition of the ice at all of these locations. It could be held on either Saturday or the Sunday - we will know more later this week."
Organised ice skating in Britain started in the Fens, more specifically Welney.
Welney has a dedicated ice skating pub, The Lamb and Flag Inn where you can see photographs of past and present speed skating champions from the area. We have collected a bit of an archive ourselves from over the years dating back to 1850 and up and until the last skating in 2003.
Any Skating on the Fens is done at the skaters’ own risk. No company or persons can be held responsible for any injury or loss of life. Never skate on rivers, lakes or dykes where the water depth exceeds 4 inches.