Calm, cruel and cold – Lido winter swimmers on why they do it

Waterproof, a new book on Brockwell Park Lido’s famous cold water swimmers, launches this week.

In it, 70 women and men tell why they brave the icy depths of the Lido at its coldest.

Prizewinning photographer Lynda Laird takes swimmer portraits, while Lido swimmer David Grafton takes wintry pictures of the pool itself.

Local historian Peter Bradley is editor of Waterproof—Winter swimmers at Brockwell Park Lido, a full-colour, 132-page paperback in landscape A4 format, published by Brockwell Lido Users.

A successful Kickstarter campaign raised money to help print the book.

Here’s a sample of quotes from Waterproof:

“Rain, wind or shine, an endless kaleidoscope of colours awaiting you, flashing at you, calming you, teasing you”

Carole Woddis

“The winter swim is an escape to nature in the heart of the big smoke”

Nick Pecorelli

“Yes, the Lido is capricious and demanding, even cruel, but also benign, benevolent and all-welcoming”

Michael Wharley

“It is perhaps that I see beauty more profoundly when I am cold and almost naked in a water-filled, painted blue hole in the ground”

Julie Reynolds

“Water and light are mates, best mates”

Maureen Ni Fiann

In bookshops, Waterproof costs £15, and will be available both at Brockwell Lido reception and Herne Hill Books, near the station.

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