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East London Swimmers

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As soon as the city heats up, people flock to their favoured outside swimming spots. For most this is one of the ponds on Hampstead Heath, for others, London Field's Lido offers the perfect hipster location for posing, swimming, smoking and sunbathing with London Fields and Broadway Market in easy reach for whenever it's time for a pulled pork bap.


At these times of year, London Fields Lido is so crowded it's hard to pick the serious swimmers out from the casual bathers; it's the winter months in which the hardiest and saltiest aquatic characters emerge. It's these characters which have fascinated photographer Madeleine Walker who has recently had a book published through Hoxton Mini Press entitled 'East London Swimmers'.

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She loitered on the edges of London Field's Lido in the hairiest of swimming conditions in order to capture swimmers as they got out of the water, and then again when they had changed and were back in their normal clothes. She endeavored to find out what drove each and every one of them to their extreme exercise routine, the results of which are all unique, inspiring and heartwarming, particularly the story of Nick, who took up swimming at the outdoor pool to cure his fear of water following a narrow escape from the 2004 tsunami in Thailand

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For me, little tales of people who choose to spend their spare time in unusual ways, makes London the inspiring place it is. Madeleine Walker has proved to be a valuable portrayer of the true English eccentric.

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