While working for Page Bros. & Co., Ltd. of Norwich as an apprentice lithographer between 1893-1899, Munnings's imaginative compositions attracted the attention of John Shaw Tomkins, the managing director of A.J. Cayley & Son, a Norwich firm which manufactured crackers and chocolates. Munnings became responsible for the majority of the designs for Cayley's posters, box tops, Christmas crackers and novelties.
The present work was probably intended as a Christmas design for Cayley's Chocolates. For this subject he drew upon his experiences of winters at Mendham on the river Waveney, 'There are yet the frosts and snow to tell of, which were often the cause of floods and which lasted for weeks and weeks together. Lanes drifted up level, and there were snow-ploughs with horses and men who were given hot, mulled beer to drink. Then a thaw, followed by floods and more frosts and hosts of folk all skating. Some skating and pushing others on chairs; some cutting figures on the ice; skating all hours of the day and in the moonlight' (A.J. Munnings, An Artist's Life, Bungay, 1950, p. 38).