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Brave swimmers on The Heath start 2017 with a cold splash

PUBLISHED: 14:03 03 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:03 03 January 2017

KLPA New Years day swim at the Ladies Pond. Members of the Hampstead ladies Rugby Team prepare to brave the water which is only 3 degrees.

KLPA New Years day swim at the Ladies Pond. Members of the Hampstead ladies Rugby Team prepare to brave the water which is only 3 degrees.

Archant

While most of us were in bed nursing hangovers, around 100 hardy women were plunging into the icy waters on Hampstead Heath.

The New Year’s Day swim is a Heath tradition dating back to the 1980s.

Around 100 swimmers turned up despite the grey conditions to dive into the Kenwood Ladies’ Pond which was 3C - 5 degrees colder than last year’s balmy 8C swim.

Women adorned their swimming costumes and two-pieces with festive decorations – including one swimmer in a Father Christmas swimming hat Mary Powell, who chairs the Kenwood Ladies Pond Association (KLPA) said: “The weather just about held out for us and numbers were comparable to previous years.

“We have had an eventful year with the pond’s closure for three months and returning on time to the new buildings.

“Although there are still some snagging issues these are being dealt with.”

The swimmers thanked the lifeguards for their continued hard work during the year.

During a musical interlude a group entertained the crowds by singing a review of 2016.

Ms Powell said: “The swimming, eating and drinking continued to about 2 pm before the weather finally got the better of us.”

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