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GALLERY: Ice skating returns to Nene Washes, Whittlesey

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It is a tradition that dates back to the 1930s – and in other parts of the Fens for much longer.

Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

So, it was no surprise today to see more than 20 people ice skating on the Nene Washes outside of Whittlesey.

Skaters in the Fens.
Whittlesey Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

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Skaters in the Fens.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Skaters in the Fens.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Skaters in the Fens.
Whittlesey

Skaters in the Fens.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

In what locals describe as ideal conditions, the frozen field near the Dog in a Doublet provided just such an opportunity.

Keen skaters have been waiting for five years for the weather conditions to allow safe skating on the Nene Washes.

Local history enthusiasts were quick to point out that skating on the Nene Washes has been part of country life in the Fens for many years.

Skaters in the Fens.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Skaters in the Fens.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Skaters in the Fens.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

One said the current favoured site has been used for ice skating since the Whittlesey Sluice was built in the 1930s.

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Residents insist the skating is safe since it is not a frozen lake but a field that is flooded to a depth of about six inches and freezes solid.

Skaters in the Fens.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Skaters in the Fens.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Skaters in the Fens. Unfinished Merry
Whittlesey Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Skaters in the Fens Pictured Fen Skater Nicola Tasker (53) has been skating in the fens for over 40 years.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Skaters in the Fens Pictured Fen Skater Nicola Tasker (53) has been skating in the fens for over 40 years.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

“There is no danger of anyone falling through or drowning,” said one local resident.

Another told the local Facebook group – Whittlesey Community Page – of their own experience.

Skaters in the Fens Pictured Fen Skater Nicola Tasker (53) has been skating in the fens for over 40 years.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Skaters in the Fens. Pictured Sean Johnson (52) playing hockey on the frozen field.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

Skaters in the Fens. Pictured Sean Johnson (52) playing hockey on the frozen field.
Whittlesey, Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Picture by Terry Harris.

They said that when their family was looking for a house 40 years, they drove into Whittlesey and saw ice skaters on the Nene Washes.

It was one of the reasons that prompted their move to the Fenland town.

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