Archive for Tooting Bathing-Lake

Lido Song by Chris Stanton and the Big Splash

Posted in London Pools, News, Tooting lido with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2012 by Rejoice & Be Cleansed

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Something to warm the cockles this Yuletide. Click on this link to hear the wonderful Lido Song performed by Chris Stanton and the Big Splash (feat. The Dive-in Belles) at Tooting Bec Lido. Photography by Kat Robinson & Sue Brearley. Audio & visual production by Tom Robinson. Hilarious.

While we’re at it, don’t forget to put 26 January 2013 into your diary. The South London Swimming Club will be hosting the 5th UK Cold Water Swimming Championships at Tooting Bec Lido. This biennial event has become a must for cold water swimmers, attracting both the experienced cold water swimmer and people who are trying it for the first time. Age and ability is no barrier as, with water temperatures as low as 3°C, jumping in for the 30 yard races is a challenge in itself.

The UK Cold Water Swimmimg Championships at Tooting Bec lido

The Cold Water Swimming Championships celebrates the fun and camaraderie of cold water swimming and the competiton is often just friendly but can also be fierce. There are a variety of races this year, from the traditonal “head-up” breaststroke, the freestyle dash and relays to the 450 metre challenge for the really fool hardy. To help the competitors recover there will be a Finnish sauna available after the races as well as good food, a host of stalls and entertainment going on throughout the day.

Click here for a little preview film. See you there.

The Good Times: Get Wet

Posted in London Pools, Tooting lido with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2012 by Rejoice & Be Cleansed

“Feeling gloomy? There’s nothing quite like an invigorating swim to put you in a good mood, especially with the open sky above you. Simon Murie, founder of specialist swimming holiday operator SwimTrek, talks us through London’s best spots for an al fresco dip,” says The Good Times, a magazine designed to have steered us through the (official!) most depressing day of the year, Jan 16th. The Good Times is The Church of London’s (a Shoreditch-based creative agency) response to the January blues and the result of a week-long project to write, design and print a one-off newspaper which celebrated only good news.TCoL rallied writers, designers and illustrators together to produce a newspaper which exclusively featured ‘good news’ stories. Copies were distributed in London and available direct from the TCoL office on Leonard Street in east London. And seeing Tooting Bec Lido, The Serpentine, Hampstead Heath Lake, and London Fields Lido being written about as a natural antidote to the trials and tribulations that January did put a smile on my face. There is a link to the full text in the picture above. Enjoy!

Tooting Lido

Posted in London Pools with tags , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by Rejoice & Be Cleansed

For me Tooting Lido is one of the most incredible places in the UK. Not only is it huge (the pool measures 100 x 33 yards – a staggering 30,000 square feet of water), but swimming in the middle of one of London’s most beautiful commons, surrounded by trees, blackberry bushes, the multicoloured changing rooms (which are apparently listed) and the sound of bird song (as well as the clatter of the occasional train), is a joy to behold.

According to SLSC, it is is one of Britain’s oldest lidos: it was built in just four months in the spring of 1906. It did not become a ‘lido’ until the thirties – when the term became widely used – it was originally known as Tooting Bathing-Lake.The pool, at the eastern end of Tooting Common in south-west London, opened to the public on Saturday 28 July 1906. It was intended partly as a communal bath as very few homes in 1906 had their own bathrooms. It is now the biggest open-air pool in the country.

Back in 1906, the Rev. Anderson, the man behind the pool being built, said he hoped it would be ‘a benefit to the public for a long time to come.’ He can hardly have imagined that a hundred years later, people from south London and beyond, would still be swimming in his bathing-lake and delighting in it.

Anyway, although it is lovely when there are lots of people enjoying the vast expanse of water, it is at its best at about 7.00am in the morning, when the sun is out, and only a handful of people are taking the plunge. Here’s some shots at exactly that time of day. They are also taken before some b**tards stole the safety rail that used to surround the pool. Who would have thought that the recession and swimming could have collided in such a sad way?

A couple of hours later …