Letters from King Edward VII and an ancient ice skate made from bone were just some of the historical artefacts discovered at National Ice Centre (NIC) in Nottingham.
They were found by the National Ice Skating Association’s (NISA) historian Elaine Hooper during a recent visit to the ice arena, in the Lace Market.
While working her way through the archives, she also discovered a selection of old trophies, including one won by the British Team in the 1970s.
Elaine said: “It’s remarkable to think these artefacts have been hidden away for so many years and amazing to see letters from King Edward VII who was a patron of the Association.
“The letters were written by the equerry Sir Francis Knollys on behalf of the King, in reply to letters of congratulation or condolence written by the association to King Edward VII both as the monarch and as Prince of Wales.
“The bone ice skate is a real gem. The silver plate attached to the skate was black when I found it and it wasn’t until I cleaned it that I discovered what it was.
“Bones were used as skates because, when polished they would glide easily over the ice. In medieval times the skating would have been for pleasure and for ease of travel over frozen land. The climate was a lot colder and in Northern Europe they had already developed skating as a way of travel.
“Skates evolved from bone, to wood and then eventually iron and steel.”
Elaine has added the fascinating items to NISA’s historical collection.
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Last Updated: 9th August 2013 1:02pm