Over 100 swimmers braved the grey and rainy weather to see in the New Year at the Ladies' Pond. It was also good to see many newer devotees of our pond taking part in the traditional 1 January dip. The usual suspects were out in force too! KLPA members cheered loudly to thank the lifeguards for their continued hard work, and all enjoyed the food and drink which participants had brought to share. A musical and irreverent review of 2016 was provided by pond regulars "The Alternatives" aka Alison Assiter, Fiona Ellis and Bryony Fane. We were ready to face the rigours of 2017, knowing that the pond is still here as our sanctuary from the world.
A glorious film produced by KLPA Committee Member Nicola Mayhew. Nicky says:
"In 1931 British Pathé filmed a newsreel at Hampstead Ladies Pond showing ‘Winter Nymphs’, women swimming in icy water. In January 2016, just before a three-month closure of the Ladies Pond for major construction works, some of the regular swimmers thought it was time to see how much has changed in 85 years . . ."
The London Waterkeeper campaign 'A Thames Fit To Swim In' wants thousands of people in London to be able to use the non-tidal Thames from Hampton Court to Teddington with confidence, whether they swim, kayak or row. Last year I was in Copenhagen to find out how they made their harbours swimmable and how in Aarhus they are working to make its river swimmable too. They have also done this in Munich.
We can make the non-tidal Thames fit to swim in. This is in terms of water quality, safety, access and balancing the interests of different users. If we could create swim zones in west London, and have the river become a Designated Bathing Water, thousands more people would be able to enjoy outdoor swimming. For this to happen we need to know when sewage works discharge to the rivers in the area, have water quality monitoring and establish new partnerships between swimmers, rowers, kayakers etc.
In 2012 the organisation Human Race saw 338 of the 1,000 people swimming from Hampton Court to Kingston get ill. Sadly it has now decided to no longer hold the event.
London Waterkeeper is part of the international federation called Waterkeeper Alliance. It defends the right to clean water and uses advocacy to work for swimmable, fishable and drinkable waters worldwide.
PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
Last year a small team from KLPA were invited with Daniel Start (of the Wild Swim books) to lead wild swims at Port Eliot Festival. This year the festival is inviting us back and is taking place 29th to the 31st July. Anyone interested in participating should get in touch with Mary Holroyd (contact below)
What you have to do is to help organise and take part in an estuary swim of about a mile. This year there will be one each day. Each time some people from our team have to lead the swim and encourage participants while others take the swimmers' clothes to the finishing point. You may be able to opt for only the second task if there are enough volunteers keen to swim. What you are offered in return is a festival ticket which provides a place to camp (but not a tent) and allows entry to all festival events. You have to pay your own costs to get there, your food and if you don't bring your own tent you would have to pay extra for a tent or other accommodation. Port Eliot is near Plymouth and easy to reach by train with a station near the festival ground. Once the team is decided those on it will have to commit firmly to going.
Mary Holroyd is co-ordinating the team this year. Places are limited so if you are interested contact her soon.
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TAKEN FROM http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/
Swimmers line the perimeter with the 200ft long scarf they have knitted before swimmers left the Ladies' Pond on Sunday to make way for three months of building works related to the Ponds Project dam works. Pictures: Polly Hancock
On 18 October 2015 you were sent a message from Jane Shallice concerning a serious threat to Millfield Lane which leads to the Ladies' Pond. This arises from a planning application for an enormous redevelopment at the Water House, just opposite the main entrance to the pond.
The campaign group "Friends of Millfield Lane" has now set up an on-line petition with 38 Degrees which can be found here.
Please sign this petition and forward it to your family, friends, colleagues and anyone else you can think of. We are expecting Camden Council's planning committee to meet to discuss the Water House application on 5 November 2015, so it is really important to build up this petition now.
Thank you for your support
There is an exhibition of modern art that may interest swimmers. The details of the exhibition are at this link and takes place 14 Oct to 7 November (first evening is private viewing)
If you are thinking about swimming this winter or need a little encouragement to keep going through another winter….come to the Winter Swimmers’ Breakfast at the Ladies’ Pond on Saturday 17th October 2015 (8-10 am).
Have your say!
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