Weather’s too hot for city ice rink

Claire Burns, 16, Sinnead Connelly, 12, and Caleb Stewart, 15, weren't able to go ice-skating
Claire Burns, 16, Sinnead Connelly, 12, and Caleb Stewart, 15, weren't able to go ice-skating
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BALMY weather has seen the Capital basking in temperatures higher than Barcelona – and melting the city’s much-heralded ice rink.

Disappointed tourists flocked to the attraction at the Winter Wonderland yesterday, only to be told it was closed because of the warmer weather.

The mild climate and a warm prevailing wind reduced the thickness of the ice to just three inches, littering the surface with puddles of water.

Douglas Taylor, right, managing director of M and D 
Leisure, which operates the ice rink, said the firm had faced an uphill battle.

He said: “Obviously we were disappointed but there was not a lot we could do with the weather. It is like trying to operate a fridge with the door open, impossible.

“We had temperatures running 15 degrees above freezing. If you came to the gardens in July, it didn’t get to that so it’s a bit of a freak it’s happening now.

“Even though we are using state-of-the-art chillers, on the green side of things we needed a bit of help with the temperatures we didn’t get.

“As long as we don’t have any more rain we should have ice again today and the weekend.”

Hundreds of youngsters had to be turned away from the feature as the rest of the Capital enjoyed temperatures hotter than holiday hot-spots including Ibiza.

Beverley Major, 27, brought children Kaitlin, four, and Holly, six, on a trip from Durham and said they were gutted not to have a go.

She said: “I’d seen the ice rink before we came here and the girls were hoping to get on. It’s the one thing they really wanted to do so, of course, they are disappointed.

“We travelled a long way to do this and I don’t think we’ll manage to get back here before we go home. We 
wondered what had happened to it and it’s funny to think it’s the weather.”

Chloe Wakenshaw and boyfriend Matt Justice, both 19, travelled up from Newcastle for a break after new year. The pair enjoyed the outdoor facility last year but had to sit it out this time.

Hugh and Therene Gracie had gone to the rink with son Brandon, 13, and his friend Robbie McCann, 17, who wanted to skate.

The family, from Bathgate, West Lothian, said it was the first time they had known of an ice rink to melt.

Therene said: “I’ve certainly never heard of this happening before and you wouldn’t expect it here in Edinburgh.

“It has been mild these last few days to be honest so I can understand why the ice has started to melt.”

Site manager Robin Sanders said other ice rinks in Glasgow, London and Cardiff had faced similar problems keeping the surface frozen.

She said the chillers had been kept on full and she hoped it would be fully operational again today until the rink closes on Sunday.