Discover the history of Fen skating prior to 2014 Winter Olympics at talks

Skaters on the ice at Bury Fen on Boxing Day 2011.

Skaters on the ice at Bury Fen on Boxing Day 2011.

Two Fen skaters will hold the first of five talks this week about the history of the sport and the forthcoming Winter Olympics.

David Smith and Nigel Drake’s talk Bury Fen to Sochi gives a brief history about how Fen skating started and how the skates have developed over the years - from pieces of bones strapped to boots to the carbon fibre shoes of today.

Some of the characters that have performed through the years will also be discussed.

The first talk is on Friday, January 3, at Welney Village Hall, starting at 7.30pm.

Mr Smith said: “We will also try to give a bit of background information to what you might expect to see at the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi including some names to watch out for - including a very real chance of a medal for a British speed skater.

“We will have a selection of skates from different eras on display and to pick up to show how technology has come along.”

Admission is £2.50 on the night. Doors open at 7pm.

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Three other talks will be held at Willingham Octagon Room (January 17), Sutton Pavilion (January 23) and Somersham Victory Hall (January 30). All these talks will be £2.50 with any proceeds going to the Fen Centre Skating Association.

A talk will also be held at the Babylon Gallery in Ely, as part of ADeC’s Babylon Bites season, on January 25. Admission for this talk is £5, with proceeds going to ADeC.

Mr Smith said: “Anyone who has any old stories, photographs, video clips and newspaper clippings, or is just interested in learning a bit more about Fen skating or speed skating prior to the Olympics, is welcome to come along and share their stories.”

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