David Lowe a keen skater whose company EWS is the land agent for the massive SnOasis develepment has produced a great document detailing the exploits he, accompanied by his brother and a handful of other experienced Fenland skaters got up to when skating around Welney and the Fens last winter.
David is no stranger to Fen skating and has been skating on these waterways just north of Ely for the last few years.
The first time I met him was in the Lamb and Flag pub at Welney where he was chatting to other fen skaters when the SnOasis project was just at its planning stages and that’s how I got interested in the project.
David has also got to know Ray Kent and John Smart – the Great Grandsons of the all time greats of Fen skating, Turkey and James Smart – British and World Champion skaters.
The document details the very extensive area David and colleagues covered on the fenland waterways in the manner of the victorian skaters when a pair of skates was the only transport possible in winter. Fen skaters like the Tebbits and Smarts would cover many miles to get to the railway station at Manea to go racing in London.
The fact that David is a veteran of Scandinavian ice touring gave him an edge over the miles of rivers and drains and had all the safety gear including Swedish designed ice poles to check the strength of the ice.
I should add that the Welney skating club strongly advises against this sort of distance skating without the specialist equipment David has and training in using it and would recommend that all skating is done across fields such as those at Welney, Whittlesey and Bury Fen.
David’s documented and photographed ‘Escapades’ are available from him – email@example.com.
And now that SnOasis is getting underway, this will help keep the winter sport interest alive all through the year – as well as boosting the economy in the South East.