Saturday, 26 October 2013

lake eerie

Ooh, I go swimming, swimming in the water
Swimming in the river, swimming in the sea
I go swimming

"Visits to the swimming pool in the fifties and sixties were always accompanied by anxiety about diseases, especially polio whenever there was an outbreak, and verrucas. There were steel baskets for your clothes, a Brylcream machine on the way out, and Wagon Wheels, Penguins and Bovril at the cafĂ©. And always, everywhere, boys shivering. On swimming days at school, the smell of wet togs pervaded the classroom, the dampness seeping through to smudge the ink in the exercise books in our satchells."   Roger Deakin Waterlog page 310
Gigi Cifali's beautiful images here reminded me of Roger Deakin's wonderful book Waterlog. Although I never met him - he lived in Suffolk - but I miss him as his books were always a joy to read and gave me a yearning to get outside.

I remember open air swimming pools in Hitchin and Bedford by the River Ouze. Mostly I remember the one near my house in Stevenage in Letchmore Road park. A place that was frequented by big wild boys who took great pleasure in leaving broken glass there for us littluns to maim ourselves on whilst shivering in our home-knitted swimming trunks. I also remember those swimming lessons with a shudder.

Have a look at these fantastically eldritch images from another time somewhere in the deep past.

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