CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Ladies’ pond is effectively closed to me

14 August, 2020

Ladies’ pond: ‘I may never be able to swim there again and that breaks my heart’

• AS an all-year wild swimmer previously, I would like to point out how much the benefits of cold water swimming in the ladies’ pond are missed now.

I understand the need to close the ponds due to Covid-19 but now they are effectively closed to me by cost, a failed ticketing system and the change in culture at the ponds.

For me, a long-term mental health sufferer of an enduring and life-long bipolar condition, the benefits of cold water swimming are undeniable, helping relieve depression in winter and bring calm and a safe women-only space to enjoy the summer weather.

The stress of Covid-19 isolation and the ongoing misery of being out of touch with people could so easily have been reduced if only I was able to get back to swimming at the pond.

Unfortunately I don’t always know how I am going to be in the next few days, so booking online, even if I could get on the site, is pointless. It now will cost me £2.40 concession, limiting my access to once or twice a week instead of a daily swim.

The spontaneity of being able to show up and swim, for £1 concession is gone for ever. I feel I have been robbed of that now by the way the City of London have abused their position as caretakers of the ponds.

I may never be able to swim there again and that breaks my heart.

E JOHNSTON
Address supplied

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