Snow on snow - an extra bit of magic this year
One of my favourite recollections of the Ice Rink this year was our snowy return to work in the first week of January and seeing our outdoor Ice Rink piled up with snow. The ice marshals were working furiously to, well, remove the ice and snow, on top of the ice and snow. Seemed ironic somehow.
But at the weekend, on 17 January, the Ice Rink closed, as it usually does in mid January. No more will we see skaters gliding by on our way in and out of the Museum. Bye bye festive season.
So what happens to the Ice Rink ice (all 150,000 litres of it)? Well it gets steamed.
The event's project manager, Sherri-Louise Rowe, explained the process: "The glycol - a syrupy kind of concoction used in anti-freeze - that usually goes through the chillers to freeze the ice on the rink, is redirected through the boiler truck, heating the pipes and therefore melting the ice. The melted ice then flows away in the drains under the gardens."
And lots of steam is produced as a result.
Three days after the meltdown, all you can see in this recent picture (left) is a little patch of stubborn ice.
The chillers were turned off yesterday. Today the pipe work under the rink was packed up.
Dismantling continues and the interior of the cafe bar is almost stripped. The outside chalets and catering huts have been taken down.
This year's Ice Rink was a really successful one and we had about 110,000 skaters who visited. It was made especially magical thanks to the exciting snow storms we experienced over the Christmas holidays.
Now it's time to replenish the Museum's front lawns for spring and to welcome the next outdoor exhibition.