Friday, June 11, 2010

Ilkley Lido

In the1960s, when I was a child, summers were, of course, made up of of endless sunny days.

On some of these, with our friends Ruth and Syd and their children Jo and Deb, we went to Ilkley Lido.

I don't think we ever called it a lido. We called it an open-air pool. Sometimes we went to the one in Leeds (at Roundhay Park - but sadly now closed, filled in and made into a car park. Grrrr!) and sometimes we went to the one in Ilkley.

Ilkley Lido is rather stylish - it was built in 1935 when there was a vogue for such things, and it's the shape of a mushroom cut in half, with a fountain in the middle.

There is a lot of shallow water and I remember playing in it for hours on hot days, and then eating massive picnics whilst sitting on rugs on the grass.

Of course, Jo, Deb and I still swim together and Deb and I are going to do the Great Swims this summer - I am doing the Great North Swim in Windermere and Deb is going to do one of the Southern ones - I'm not sure which.

Deb has just acquired a wetsuit and wants to try it out.

So tomorrow morning Deb and I are going back to the Ilkley Lido, so she can try out her wetsuit. I don't know why, but I haven't been there for years and years. Probably for well over thirty years. Perhaps the long hot summers of childhood stopped being so long and hot.

The Lido isn't heated. "Won't it be too cold for you?" asked Deb. "Oh, no, I'll be fine, I'm used to cold water," I said blithely.

If you can hear the sound of distant screaming at about half-past ten tomorrow, you will know that I'm not as hardy as I think.

So meanwhile, I'm trying to get a wetsuit, because, for Health and Safety, the Great Swims insist that you wear one.. And it is not proving easy. As wetsuit manufacters know, everyone who swims, and who might need a wetsuit, has one of two builds: tall and thin or very VERY tall and thin.

I am neither. I am short and broad. A bit overweight - not too much, and all this swimming means I'm quite fit at the moment for a Woman of My Age. But I have a broad back, and this means that I'm well - - far too broad for any standard wetsuit.

I have emailed the company who hire out wetsuits for the Great North Swim to point out that in order to find one that fits, I will apparently have to grow to about six feet six inches tall before early September. I'll let you know what they reply.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a possibility - looks like they want every dimension you've ever had measured and more besides:
Good luck

10:50 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

I offered before but you ignored it. You don't need a wetsuit - what you need is a damned good greasing from a family sized jar of Vaseline and I will be happy to apply it for you. I normally charge but as your swim is for charity I will provide my greasing service free of charge.

1:13 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

verify: ulomba
The process of greasing the body prior to swimming in ridiculously cold water.

9:48 am  

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