Poignant New Year’s Day swim as Kenwood Ladies’ Pond prepares for three-month closure

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 January 2016

The Kenwood Ladies Pond Association New Year's Day swim. Pictured swimmers Sara Turnbull and Angela Koch. Picture: Polly Hancock

The Kenwood Ladies Pond Association New Year's Day swim. Pictured swimmers Sara Turnbull and Angela Koch. Picture: Polly Hancock


Female swimmers took a dip in relatively balmy waters on Hampstead Heath for an annual New Year’s Day swim.

Women adorned their swimming costumes and two-pieces with festive decorations – with one woman wearing a Father Christmas swimming hat – to swim in Kenwood Ladies’ Pond on Friday.

The mild winter weather means the temperature of the water was a relatively balmy 8C – much warmer than usual for this time of year.

It drew 150 swimmers to the water, but the yearly tradition was bittersweet this year as the pond is set to close for three months from early Feburary to allow the Hampstead Heath Ponds Project works to go ahead.

Mary Powell, secretary of the Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association (KLPA), which organised the swim, said: “The New Year’s Day swim was as well attended and festive as ever. This year was more poignant though, as the Ladies’ Pond will have to be vacated for three months during the dam works from early February. It’s the start of a long farewell to our existing facilities,

“We also thank the lifeguards for their continued hard work and good humour throughout the previous year.”

After their festive dip, members of the KLPA choir sung tunes, including “Swimming In The Rain” – a take on the classic 1920s song.

When the pond closes, Kenwood Ladies’ Pond swimmers will transfer to the Mixed Pond.

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