The Blades swap planes for ice skates at Beckworth Emporium

Submitted picture
Submitted picture

They might be more used to performing their amazing acrobatics at international air displays, but this week, members of The Blades Aerobatic Display Team have been looping the loop - on ice.

The Sywell-based flyers, all former Red Arrow pilots, have taken not to the skies but to skates at the annual winter ice rink at Beckworth Emporium at Mears Ashby to create a suitably festive, icy theme as the backdrop to their Christmas photo.

The Blades made their debut display in 2006 at a party for David Beckham and have since performed at such prestigious events as the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations at Balmoral Castle, the Bharain Grand Prix and the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

But they also have a long standing partnership with the award-winning venue at the end of their runway, having given a special fly-past on the opening day of the Emporium back at Easter in 2009, and for Alison Williams, Beckworth’s people and communications director, it was a real honour to welcome the boys back.

“We feel really proud that the team chose us to be the setting for their Christmas picture, and it was great to see them whizzing round the ice-rink and enjoying themselves,”” she explained.

“They took to the ice like ducks to water but then I guess when you’re used to performing dangerous, daredevil antics at thousands of feet, skating is a comparative doddle,” she added.

The photograph will now be seen by the team’s hoards of fans around the world as it is being used to offer festive greetings on their social media pages and website –

Meanwhile the ice rink, with 520 square metres of real ice, free blades and wheelchair friendly sessions, is open until Tuesday January 6 (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day) .

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