DOWNSTREAM
A History and Celebration of Swimming the River Thames

CAITLIN DAVIES
400pp ILLUS 2015 LIST PRICE: £16.99 E347

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Description
The Victorian era saw organised racing on the Thames with the launch of the long-distance amateur championship of Great Britain. Soon, floating baths were built in London; people swam at official pools and islands at Oxford, Reading and Henley, dived off pontoons at Kingston and played at temporary lidos in Richmond. By the 1930s the Thames had become a holiday spot for families, with beaches at the Tower of London, Greenwich and Grays. It is now illegal to swim in the Thames, however, where the river traffic and dangerous currents are more immediate dangers than the health threat. This book explores the changing nature of swimmers’ relationship with the river, featuring previously unpublished archive images.