Wild Swimming News: Leicester City re-evaluates its Facilities 26/02/15

The joy of swimming in rivers and lakes is a way of life embraced and celebrated right across Europe and America. Families share the freedom, fun and adventure of the great outdoors whilst being refreshed as they swim in natural waters which put the sparkle back into their lives. Yet a very different attitude has been fostered here in Britain. Open water swimming is often portrayed as an activity for the eccentric, the hardy, if not the foolhardy minority. British swimmers have been shepherded out of open water to swim instead in the safer confines of the indoor swimming pool. But is outdoor swimming really as dangerous as perceived?

Before the construction of swimming pools during the industrial revolution all swimmers swam in the wild. But the freedom of fresh air and sunshine was not to last. The wind of change stirred up by the industrial revolution saw wild swimmers chased out of open water, rounded up and confined to indoor swimming pools. Today wild swimmers living near cities often struggle to find a suitable place to swim outdoors without facing censure or ridicule from either members of the public or from well meaning officials.

The public facilities once enjoyed countrywide on river, lake and canal banks have became out of bounds in most cases and swimming restrictions have brought an end to what many found to be one of the greatest pleasures in life. Hung Out to Dry investigates how and why we British now stand apart from Europe, America and the world by restricting the liberty of the swimmer.

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The History of Wild Swimming

Hung Out to Dry is far deeper than a simple history of swimming. This chronicle of British culture exposes 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 swimming itself.

Wild Swimmers Hung Out to Dry

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.

Uncover for yourself the the checkered history of British swimming, from the zeal of the conquering Romans; through years of religious and superstitious intolerance; to the health and safety obsessions of today.

See how the seaside holiday changed the swimmers experience forever with the introduction of swimming costume, beach fashion and body consciousness. Then discover how the construction of lidos countrywide improved the nation's health, whilst at the same time introducing a sunbathing era with a legacy of its own.

Chapter six focuses on the social history of swimming in the city of Leicester and the influence that Leicester personalities such as Daniel Lambert, Thomas Cook and John Jarvis have had on the swimming world.

Discover how a class struggle changed British swimming from an animated, outdoor, playful activity, mostly enjoyed by working class boys, into a very competitive sport, confined predominantly to man-made indoor pools.

This history of British swimming sheds a rare light on the development of British society, conveying insight and understanding as to the growth of our current prejudice towards swimmers. Discover how, despite restrictions, the desire to escape confinement is propelling swimmers beyond the walls of the swimming pool, to return to swimming in the wild. Be inspired!  Buy now and enjoy a massive discount!

"A 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

"Chris 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

"This 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

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