Eileen takes to the ice again – at the age of 102

A CHILDHOOD love of ice skating was rekindled for Eileen Pickering – as she celebrated her 102nd birthday.

Eileen, who lives at the Alexandra House care home in Poole, marked the landmark birthday with an ice rink experience at the BH Live Cool Coast Ice Rink, in Bournemouth.

Her journey back to the ice rekindled fond memories from her childhood in London.

As a little girl, Eileen’s parents used to take her to watch ice hockey matches, but the real magic happened post-game, when she was allowed to glide freely on the ice.

Her love for ice skating grew, and her parents, recognising her passion, gifted her a pair of white leather skates.

However, Eileen’s ice-skating adventures were put on hold when her parents relocated to West Moors in the 1950s, where the absence of an ice rink left her unable to continue her beloved past-time.

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But her admiration for the art of ice skating endured, fueled by her enthusiasm for watching legends like Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

So, for her 102nd birthday, she received a thoughtful gift from staff at Alexandra House – a DVD of Torvil and Dean’s performances – allowing her to relive the magic whenever her heart desires.

And Eileen’s dream of being on the ice again became the focal point for her birthday celebration.

Alexandra House stepped in to make her wish come true by organising a special experience at the BH Live Cool Coast Ice Rink, where she was surrounded by loved ones and well-wishers to create new memories.

Eileen, of Poole, took to the ice in Bournemouth to mark her 102nd birthday

Eileen, of Poole, took to the ice in Bournemouth to mark her 102nd birthday

“I never thought I would get the chance to be on the ice again,” she said. “It feels like a dream come true, and I’m incredibly thankful to Nicola and the team at Alexandra House for making this happen.”

Nicola Bleach, activities lead at Alexandra House, added: “Witnessing Eileen being back on the ice at the BH Live Cool Coast Ice Rink was a heartwarming experience.

“Eileen’s joy was infectious, and it highlighted the power of fulfilling dreams, no matter the age. We are committed to creating moments that truly matter, and seeing Eileen rediscover the magic of her passion demonstrates the essence of enriching lives through thoughtful and personalised care.”

Steve Turner, BH Live’s associate director of venues, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Eileen to Bournemouth International Centre and to Cool Coast Ice Rink to make her 102nd birthday wish come true.

“Eileen is such an inspiration and really shows that skating can be fun for all ages and abilities. Thanks so much to the Care South team for choosing our venue to mark such a special occasion, we wish them and Eileen the very best.”

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