Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The Iron Lotus

Yesterday at lunch my coworker Rachel and I decided to go ice skating. Remarkably we both came back with no broken bones, bruises, sprains or frostbite; in fact we didn't fall even once!

We did however get totally showed up by a dapper looking older woman who zipped about in a red corduroy track suit and a leopard hat. Apparently she goes skating everyday:

Hang up my skates? I’ll put that idea on ice

Meet Glasgow on Ice's biggest - and possibly oldest - fan.

Sprightly 74-year-old Mildred Black whizzes around the rink in George Square for up to five hours every day.

The fearless grandmother gets the bus into Glasgow from Giffnock each morning to take to the ice on a new pair of gleaming white boots.

And her graceful figure of eights and speed skating leave younger thrill-seekers trailing in her wake.

Mildred, who has two grandchildren Nicola, 17, and 10-year-old Deborah returned to skating five years ago after nearly 50 years.

She used to skate every night when she was young but stopped in 1955 aged 21 because she thought she was too old.

However, when the rink was set up in 2001 she stunned her family and friends by saying she wanted to get her skates back on.

Mildred still has a pair of boots her mother gave her on her 16th birthday and makes her own outfits, including a striking red corduroy suit.

She said: "When I get on the ice I feel 16 again.

"The years fly off. I love skating really fast around the edges.

"I'm not scared. If you are scared there is no fun in it.

"The first year I came back my family were a bit worried about me and said I was a bit old but I feel great."

Mildred took up skating aged 12 after the Second World War but has never had lessons.

She used to skate at Hogganfield Loch overflow and the rink at the Kelvin Hall sports centre when she was a child She said: "It had a beautiful rink, I'll never forget it.

"I fell into Hogganfield Loch a few times but it didn't put me off."

Mildred helped launch Glasgow on Ice as the first skater and has been given free use of the rink by Culture and Sport Glasgow so she can enjoy her favourite hobby throughout the festive period.

Caroline Wilson, The Evening Times


Carolina Peach said...

Wow! What a neat lady.

Oh, and I tag you.

KD said...

She's cool! Great to hear stories like this.

Melaina25 said...

Before we read this we each creatd a backstory for her. I decided she was a champion competitive skater before the war but had to melt down her skates for the war effort. Rachel decided she was the lost Russian princess Anastasia. I like her real story though :)