Inverleith Park: 77-year-old ice skater Jenny Cook steals the show after skating on frozen pond in vintage boots

Pictures of Edinburgh residents taking to the ice on a frozen pond flooded social media over the weekend – but one reveller caught the eye more than most.

By Hannah Brown
Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 4:45 pm
Jenny Cook, 77, ice-skates on the frozen pond in Inverleith Park, Edinburgh (Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire).
Jenny Cook, 77, ice-skates on the frozen pond in Inverleith Park, Edinburgh (Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire).

77-year-old Jenny Cook, who enjoyed skating as a child on Haymarket Ice Rink, wowed the people of Edinburgh as she took to the ice at Inverleith Park last Saturday wearing her vintage lace-up skating boots.

On Saturday, January 9, donned in a blue jacket and retro black leather lace-up skates bought in a jumble sale, Jenny glided across the park’s ice with smiles and enthusiasm as the cold weather hit freezing temperatures across the Capital.

With a view of the Inverleith Park pond from her house on North Park Terrace, Jenny who turns 78 soon, laced up her boots and began skating at 10am, stopping only for a quick cup of soup at 12.30pm then heading back to the ice for a couple of hours in the afternoon.

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Jenny glides across the pond (Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire).

Jenny claims not to be a great skater and puts her skills all down to age and experience and a love of skating from a young age.

She commented: "I went as a child to Haymarket Ice Rink but I was never a good skater.

"You don’t need to be a good skater to enjoy it.”

However, despite her skating modesty, Jenny admitted that most skaters wouldn’t dare tread the ice with her vintage classics which cost her a pound.

Jenny enjoying herself on the ice.

"They are blunt as anything with wobbly ankles and any skater now wouldn’t look at them.

"There were guys there who were really good skaters who were whizzing up and down and they told me their skates cost around £150 and were specially made.

"I said, ‘Oh well if I had boots like you I might be able to do the same!’”

Finding it hard to date the skates with a label saying ‘Fagan Skating Footwear made in England’, Jenny said: “I bought them fifty years ago and then they were old so I have absolutely no idea.

Jenny who is nearly 78 joins the other skaters on the pond.

“When our children were young we all had boxes of skates that we bought at jumble sales for a couple of pounds and we took the boxes onto the edge of the ice and dished them all out to anyone who wanted to borrow them so I’ve only just kept one pair now and that was the pair I had on."

Jenny said it was made a lot easier to skate on Inverleith pond 30 years ago when the council would drop the water level before it began to freeze to ensure the pond was solid.

She added: “We had games of icy hockey- well people had walking sticks out- and we had goals and it was great fun."

Jenny also encouraged eight of her grandchildren at different times throughout the day and join her on the ice.

Full view of the icy pond on Saturday.

"The oldest one is 16 and had never been on the pond before.

"It’s miserable for them at the moment with homeschooling so it’s nice for them to get this experience and on this ice you have so much space to social distance.”

Jenny says she treated it as if it’s “the last time she might ever have the chance to go out on the ice” and hopes to share future experiences with her grandchildren.

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