Wild Swimming News:
River Swimming to return to Berlin 29/10/2014
Wild swimming is great fun! But in England open water swimming is often portrayed as an activity for the hardy if not the foolhardy minority. Despite the popularity of river and lake swimming which is very much encouraged throughout Europe, many feel that swimmers here in Britain should be kept out of open waters and be restricted instead to the safer confines of the indoor swimming pool. Just why do why we British have such a unique and polarized attitude?
Before the construction of swimming pools during the industrial revolution naturally all swimmers swam in the wild. Refreshing, invigorating and healthful though this was, a change in culture 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 and America by restricting the liberty of the swimmer.
Hung Out to Dry is much deeper than a simple
history of swimming. This chronicle of British culture exposes the
rational behind our national obsession with constraining the swimmers freedom.
Readers will 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 possibly the most neglected aspect of our British heritage. A change in attitude that could have arisen nowhere other than in Britain; the birthplace of the industrial revolution.
The seaside holiday sparked the introduction of swimming costume, beach fashion and body consciousness. Then the construction of lidos countrywide improved the nation's health immeasurably, whilst at the same time introducing a sunshine and sunbathing era.
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 Jennie Fletcher have had on the swimming world.
Discover how a clash of culture 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 new light on the development of
British society, conveying insight and understanding as to the growth of
our current prejudice towards wild swimmers. Discover how, despite
restrictions, the desire to escape from confinement is propelling swimmers
beyond the walls of the swimming pool, to return to swimming in the
wild. Be inspired!
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