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1878: Grand night gala at Cuckfield Park dog kennel pond


Skating at Cuckfield Park

Skating has been carried on in real earnest in the neighbourhood of Hurstpierpoint, and several of the larger ponds bearing tolerably well, have been visited by considerable numbers. Although snow has fallen extensively at Slinfold, Crawley, and Guildford, yet very little has fallen at Horsham. The splendid sheet of water (nearly a mile in length), known as the 'Warnham Mill Pond,' has presented quite an animated appearance, some hundreds of skaters having enjoyed themselves on the ice.


The Brighton Skating Club were expected on Wednesday, but on account of the thaw that set in, were obliged to forego their days sport. At Petworth snow has been nearly a foot deep on the level. The frost has been very severe. Unfortunately, so many tons of ice are being daily carted from the lake in Petworth Park,


that the splendid piece of water there, has been unavailable for skating purposes. A large pond at Frog Hole has, however, been left intact, consequently it baa been used by very many. Several accidents have happened to horses on the steep hills, but nothing as yet endangering life or limb.


At Littlehampton, a heavy fall of snow has fallen, it it very seldom in this neighbourhood; to have weather so severe, so early in the Winter. The spacious out door rink at Worthing, has been covered with a splendid sheet of ice and a large number have availed themselves of legitimate skating. The Rink a few evenings since, was brilliantly lit up, and presented a very pretty appearance, from the number of skaters on the surface, several visitors from Brighton, joined the merry party.


A grand night gala took place at Cuckfield, on Tuesday evening, on the ice at Cuckfield Park dog kennel pond; the Ockenden Brass Band was in attendance, and blue lights, torches, and fireworks were provided; the whole presenting a truly romantic scene; skaters and sliders, upwards of a hundred, keeping the game alive for two or three hours.


West Sussex County Times, 21 December 1878


Illustration: from The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, enhanced and framed.


Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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