Seventy-nine-year-old Ted Wyer, ready with his sledge 'Tornado' at Old Catton. Picture: Denise Bradley

Video: Nearly 80 but Sprowston grandfather Ted is still a sledging fanatic

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
9.03 AM

He may be nearing 80 but that does not stop Ted Wyer hitting the slopes with his sledge when it snows.

Seventy-nine-year-old Ted Wyer, ready with his sledge 'Tornado' at Old Catton. Picture: Denise BradleySeventy-nine-year-old Ted Wyer, ready with his sledge 'Tornado' at Old Catton. Picture: Denise Bradley

“I have been sledging all my life. I would not miss it for the world. I will keep sledging until I’m 90 if I can,” said Mr Wyer, a grandfather-of-four from Lowry Cole Road in Sprowston, and who has been sledging on the same field off the Spixworth Road in Old Catton since 1962.

Mr Wyer, who grew up sledging in the Earlham Park area, moved to Sprowston with his wife Ann and their young children, Kevin and Julie, in December 1961 – and the following year was the first time Mr Wyer and his family enjoyed sledging in the field off Spixworth Road and close to Burma Road.

“We used to come here every time it snowed. Then the children discovered the television but I carried on going sledging,” he said. “We came down here in 1963 and it was frozen for three months; we would come down here every day after school.”

Every year it has snowed since, Mr Wyer, who worked at Nestle for nearly 41 years before he retired, has been a regular on the Old Catton slope, and he even still uses the same home-made wooden sledge he constructed in 1962 for his family and named Tornado.

Seventy-nine-year-old Ted Wyer, ready with his sledge 'Tornado' at Old Catton. Picture: Denise BradleySeventy-nine-year-old Ted Wyer, ready with his sledge 'Tornado' at Old Catton. Picture: Denise Bradley

“I built this sledge because our other sledge broke. We use to fit four of us on the sledge,” he said.

“It’s made of oak and most of it is still the original sledge.”

Mr Wyer, who always whizzes down the slope head first and lies down on his sledge to spread his weight, said he especially enjoys the thrill and the speed of sledging, and said nice, hard snow and a decent slope was the optimum condition for sledging.

“I do not worry about the cold. I hope we get a good frost,” he said, adding that he has been out on his sledge every day since it started snowing last week, each time sledging to for up to two hours.

Seventy-nine-year-old Ted Wyer, ready with his sledge 'Tornado' at Old Catton. Picture: Denise BradleySeventy-nine-year-old Ted Wyer, ready with his sledge 'Tornado' at Old Catton. Picture: Denise Bradley

When asked about his tips for picking up speed on a sledge, Mr Wyer, who will be 80 in May, joked: “Shut your eyes and hope for the best!”