The 1912 Amateur Swimming Association  directory for swimmers in England listing: Indoor swimming baths, lidos, swimming lakes, swimming rivers, and seaside swimming facilities...




Morning and Evening Bathing


Road Park, Canning Town (except Fridays). Historic wild swimming venue.

Park, Palmer's Green, Southgate, N. Historic wild swimming venue.
Beckton Lido Bathing Place London Swimming History
Broomfield Park Bathing Lake London Swimming History
Park, East Ham. Historic wild swimming venue.
BROCKWELL park Bathing Lake London Swimming History
East Ham. Historic wild swimming venue.
Common. Historic wild swimming venue.
Clapham Common Bathing Lake history
Mens' bathing Lake.  Historic wild swimming venue.
Hampstead Mens Bathing Pond, London Swimming History
Hampstead Mens Bathing Pond, London Swimming History
The ladies' bathing pond officially opened much later in 1925.  Historic wild swimming venue.

Ponds. Historic wild swimming venue.


Common. Historic wild swimming venue.

Plumstead Common Bathing Lake London Swimming History

Putney Heath. Historic wild swimming venue.


Hyde Park. Historic wild swimming venue. Lido.

The Serpentine Lido 1961
Swimming History London Hyde Park Paddling Pool

Lake (private) Historic wild swimming venue.


Common. Lido.

Swimming History London The Opening of Tooting Beck Lido 1906
For the poor, the swimming pool became the cheapest place to bathe. At the opening of Tooting Bec Lido in London, Wandsworth Borough News reported - regarding hundreds of small boys: 'heedless of the presence of members of the fair sex, [they] unblushingly undressed and were sampling the quality of the water long before the "big guns" had departed.' Many bathers walked barefoot across the common prompting complaints to the Council that the facility was being 'stormed by the riff-raff from slum land.' Without doubt the waters lost much of their sparkle as 1,500 were bathing each day. Regarding indoor pools, many included a second class or boy's bath, in which boys could bathe for a fraction of the cost of a private tub. Even so their behavior needed regulation so that hijinks did not end in complete mayhem. Although initially built to complement river, lake and canal swimming, concerns over indecency prompted change. No working class man or boy owned a bathing costume, in fact if you look carefully at the front cover picture of my book: Hung Out to Dry, Swimming and British Culture you will notice one youngster carrying the only clothes he has, screwed up in one hand.

Park. Historic wild swimming venue.

Swimming History London Victoria Park Bathing Lake London
The Bathing Lake, Victoria Park, London. Described by Lieutenant-Colonel Sexby as foremost among the park's facilities! 'As many as 25,000 bathers have been counted on a summer's morning.' The lake was open to swimmers between 4.00-8.00 a.m. in the summer; the early hours ensured that the working day was not impeded. Sexby continues: 'What an incalculable boon open air swimming-baths like those provided here must prove to the neighbourhood! The principle bathing-lake is 300 feet long. It is provided with a concrete bottom, shelters, and diving-boards, and all the accessories to make it a perfect out-door swimming-bath, and it has been pronounced the finest in the world. In case of accidents, two boatmen are always on duty during the season, which is a necessary precaution when the number of bathers is taken into account.' Nearby a play park and a sand pit were well maintained despite the high costs in order to brighten the lives of local children. The park was used by swimmers from 1846.
Mornings Only

Park, Ilford. Historic wild swimming venue.


Park (before 8). Historic wild swimming venue.

Outdoor Swimming in Britain - History