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Jim the zamboni foreperson said that Ramsden is closed for good. The problem is that the melt water from the snowy hill next to the rink is running onto the rink and flooding it. The zamboni can't go fast enough to keep that water off. All the rinks have a bit of this, but Ramsden has a river.
Cloudy skies, 5 degrees. The rink was empty on arrival. The ice was not great, hard slush around the edges, but not horrible either. Definitely skateable. It was pretty thick on the hockey side where there was also a pool of water, maybe a drainage issue. The March Break Schedule was posted in the change room. There was also a survey for rink users about changes they would like to see to the schedule, and a letter from a rink user concerned about unwanted changes that might result from it.
There was a building attendant inside the staff room who was confused about the ice maintenance schedule and said she thought it probably hadn't been done all day. We found out later that the zamboni driver who works at Hodgson was on his way down. As we were leaving one lonely shinny player walked up and went to look at the puddle on the ice.
Heavy, wet snow in the morning closed all the city rinks. Ramsden re-opened around 12.30 pm.
Ten shinny players on ice plus 12 in box, all wearing helmets. Six more people in change room and 11 on pleasure side. Ice looked good.
Great ice, a bit thick in places but great altogether, recently scraped and flooded.
15-20 skaters. The shinny scene looks great! Lots of age variation and dads showing their boys "the ropes". One shinny player while lacing up seems unimpressed with Ramsden. He feels that care and efficiency are missing- he objects to staff locking themselves away in their windowless office.
The schedule is posted and copies are available if you ask. There are mats and benches but the benches are inaccessible without stepping on the concrete and dulling your skates. There are garbage and recycling cans and they are clean and tidy.
In the washrooms the women's is missing soap but is otherwise clean and tidy. The only women on site are one worker and her friend - no skaters. In the changeroom there are 3 vending machines, of which 2 are broken. Staff say that one has been broken at least 1 year- the coffee machine.
The changeroom has adjoining bathrooms but is not split by sex. The code of conduct is posted. There is no pay phone but the office has one and the office for staff is very large, well organized and comfortable. The green shovels are on site but staff are unsure of what to do when it snows.
Ramsden Rink opened yesterday. Apparently they only had two nights of flooding to get started, and the ice was still pretty thin. Today it was 7 degrees and sunny, so part of the rink was soft and the shinny players had to move the net forward and just play on half the rink.
At 3.30 there were 16 pleasure skaters and 8 people playing hockey, with a few more hockey players just arriving. The very friendly building attendant had lots of schedules available for handing out; the washrooms were clean and well stocked; there was no litter on the floor. The three big food/drink vending machines all had out of order signs, though.
There was no zamboni on-site so the rink had not had a scrape since early in the morning. It was easy to get information, though, because the windowless staff room was propped open and that meant that staff were visible to rink users.