The rising middle class needed to find things to do, to distract itself, and have fun in the Victorian ages so they built an indoor rink. It was a wooden building and had a gallery up top, so you could go up and watch the skaters. It was lit by gas and during the cold winter months it stayed open every night. In those days it was kind of like a ball room with an ice surface. In an era when most skating was done on frozen lakes, this type of venue was an innovation well ahead of its time.
Times changed and the hockey arena was born. This week I was lucky enough to watch the stages of getting the Carleton Place arena ice ready. I was amazed. Did you know the arena air has to be 18 degrees and each surface has to be flooded 8 times?
Then the lines are painted on etc and the ice painted white. If you did not paint the ice- the ice would look gray like the concrete floor. The hose has a special handmade cane with a nozzle on the end so the water comes out consistently. White powdered paint is mixed with water in a large tank creating a liquid paint mix. This paint is then applied to the ice surface with a large 12-foot spray boom and a pump. Blue/red lines are strung in place and you paint in between the lines – just like we learned in kindergarten.
Bob White told me the biggest secret is that anyone flooding the rink has to have their heart in it and care about what they are doing. It seems silly to say, but it’s true– it’s got to be in your soul. Intricate care must be taken and Bob, Rusty Knight and the Duff lad are the ones that flood the Carleton Place rink. Bob said they are going to train some of the younger lads during the next 4 years as no one as getting any younger that’s flooding the rink now.:)
So when you walk into the arena next time- I would dish out some nice compliments to the arena staff for all the work they do that all of us— including me— takes for granted. Thanks Bob White for the great information!
Steve with the Zamboni.:) He’s American– this stuff marvels the heck out of him– what can I say?
The old arena box
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships SunScreamin’ Mamas (USA) and The Sherbrooke Record