Ice blast from the past


Local resident Jim Reynolds (back row, centre) shares two photos from his teenage years taken in the early 1950s, when he would play ice hockey on the frozen lakes in Wanstead Park

These photos were taken at the Shoulder of Mutton Pond in Wanstead Park one wintry Sunday, circa 1951. They show a few friends from a group of about 18 ice hockey enthusiasts who would meet up on Saturday evenings to watch Harringay Racers ice hockey team playing their home games at Harringay Stadium. 

We would catch the number 25 bus from Ilford Broadway to Woodgrange Park Station. From there, onto the local train bound for Harringay Stadium where we would join some 8,000 spectators.

After the game, we would don our skates for a session on the ice, re-enacting the game! Then off to the chippy in Green Lanes for a bag of chips and a pickled onion! A dash up the stairs to catch the last train back to Woodgrange Park and walk back to Ilford Broadway, having always missed the last bus. Another enjoyable Saturday!

The skating at Wanstead Park, shown in the photos, would have been arranged whilst at Harringay Stadium one Saturday night.

And the gentlemen taking an icy dip were regular all-weather lake swimmers. They were taking their daily dip as my mates and I were on the lake for our ice hockey game!