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Kenwood Ladies’ Pond: Hundreds brave waters for annual New Year’s Day dip

PUBLISHED: 13:51 02 January 2019

Members of the Hampstead Ladies rugby team braved icy temperatures at Kenwood Pond on New Year's Day. Picture: Polly Hancock

Members of the Hampstead Ladies rugby team braved icy temperatures at Kenwood Pond on New Year's Day. Picture: Polly Hancock

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More than 300 hardy souls braved the “positively balmy” waters of Kenwood Ladies’ Pond onthe New Year yesterday.

Kenwood Ladies Pond New Years Day swim 2019.
Pictured woolly hatted swimmers Christine and Shama. Picture: Polly HancockKenwood Ladies Pond New Years Day swim 2019. Pictured woolly hatted swimmers Christine and Shama. Picture: Polly Hancock

Midday saw the traditional plunge begin, and although the waters were, at around six degrees, warmer than in some years past, the women who took part were still facing chilly conditions.

Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association (KLPA) co-chair Nicky Mayhew told this newspaper: “It was a great day to start the year. We had people coming and going, and a peak of around 150 people in the water.”

Attendees were able to dry off and enjoy homemade cakes and mulled wine.

With the distinctive Kenwood Ladies's Pond Association hats pride of place, brave New Year's Day swimmers Shane Rowles and Sara Burns. Picture: Polly HancockWith the distinctive Kenwood Ladies's Pond Association hats pride of place, brave New Year's Day swimmers Shane Rowles and Sara Burns. Picture: Polly Hancock

Nicky, who lives in Dartmouth Park and has been doing the New Year’s dip for 15 years, added: “It’s a treat, the only day we’re allowed to have a drink by the pond.”

Fellow swimmer Alison Assiter said: “If you go all through the year you get used to the temperatures, it doesn’t feel too bad, and was even a degree warmer than the week before!”

Kenwood Ladies Pond New Years Day swim 2019.
After a dip in the 6 degree water, regular swimmers welcomed in the New Year with homemade cakes, and mulled wine. Picture: Polly HancockKenwood Ladies Pond New Years Day swim 2019. After a dip in the 6 degree water, regular swimmers welcomed in the New Year with homemade cakes, and mulled wine. Picture: Polly Hancock

Kenwood Ladies Pond New Years Day swim 2019.
Swimming in their Chapeaus Jaunes, Marion, Nerys, Mel and Tanya. Picture: Polly HancockKenwood Ladies Pond New Years Day swim 2019. Swimming in their Chapeaus Jaunes, Marion, Nerys, Mel and Tanya. Picture: Polly Hancock

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