Letter: Edwardian ladies on skis

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The Independent Online

ladies on skis

Sir: I was surprised to read in Stephen Goodwin's interview with Janet Adam Smith (31 January) that ski-ing in the Alps "was virtually unknown until the 1920s".

My parents joined a ski-ing party at Villars in about 1902. It was organised by Henry Lunn, accompanied by his schoolboy son Arnold. I don't know if the ladies had taken ballgowns but they went down to dinner in their fur coats. It was the first time that Villars had been opened in the winter and there was no double glazing and probably not much heating.

I remember a photograph of my parents on their skis, my father in Norfolk suit and my mother in long dress (and a huge hat, of course). In those days the Norwegian pronunciation of the word "ski" was used and my parents always talked about "shee-ing".


Marlborough, Wiltshire