Wild Swimming News: Swimming in Leicester - A History in Hiding 09/04/15
The joy of river and lake swimming is a way of life celebrated across Europe and America. Families and friends share the freedom, fun and adventure of the great outdoors - swimming in refreshing natural waters. But things are so different here in Britain.
Open water swimming is often portrayed as the preserve of an eccentric, foolhardy minority. British swimmers have been chased out of open water and confined instead to swim in the safer confines of the indoor pool. But is outdoor swimming really as dangerous as we are led to believe?
Before the construction of swimming pools during the industrial revolution all swimmers swam in the wild. Yet the freedom to enjoy fresh air and sunshine was soon brought to end. Why then were English swimmers rounded up and confined to indoor swimming pools when elsewhere in Europe wild swimming continued without restriction?
The public facilities once enjoyed countrywide on river, lake and canal banks became out of bounds as swimming restrictions brought an end to what many remember as one of the greatest pleasures in life.
Swimming at the indoor pool just can't compare with the joys of wild swimming in the great outdoors. Hung Out to Dry investigates how and why we British now stand apart from Europe and America by continuing to restrict the liberty of the swimmer.
This book is much more than a simple
history of swimming. Hung Out to Dry chronicles British culture, exposing the
rational behind our national obsession with constraining the swimmers freedom.
Prepare to be intrigued and fascinated by a rich and diverse
treasure trove of knowledge, as refreshing and amusing as is wild
Read Hung Out to Dry and your eyes will be opened to this shamefully neglected aspect of our heritage. A change in attitude that could have arisen nowhere other than in Britain; the birthplace of the industrial revolution.
persuasive book... intriguing from the outset, a fascinating chronology
of British swimming which goes much deeper than one might expect. Well
researched and interestingly written... the historical ebb and flow of
swimming popularity is quite remarkable." Swimming Times
"...a thought-provoking and stimulating book, written in an accessible, direct and conversational style. It should be of interest to every outdoor swimmer." Outdoor Swimming Society
Ayriss's idiosyncratic approach is as refreshing as the waters he
loves and the ebb and flow of his story matches that of meandering
stream; you never know what is round the next bend." Spring 2014 Physical Education Matters
"...a fascinating book ...very readable, informative and entertaining... excellent illustrations. Leicester Mercury
captivating book exposes for the first time the dramatic impact that
swimmers have had on British morals and culture... Swimmers used to be
common in the lakes and waterways of England. How were these sportsmen
chased out of the great outdoor waters, and relocated to indoor swimming
pools? Discover how pride turned to prejudice as swimmers sparked the
development of British Prudery."Cornwall Today
Recommended: "Ayriss clearly loves open water swimming
and his despair at the restrictions imposed on swimmers shines
through... informed, entertaining and factual... The book is supported
by an excellent collection of illustrations and historic photographs." H2Open Magazine