December 20, 2015
12:40 pm


2015 has been a huge year for us. We’ve had amazing support from our fantastic Kickstarter Founding Members, as well as our brilliant Ambassadors and Endorsers. Thank you to you all. We’re looking forward to 2016, and moving closer to making swimming on the Thames a reality.

To finish off the year, we’ve asked our Ambassadors and Endorsers for their Christmas recommendations for water-related books and films. Here they are:

Christopher Woodward (Director, Garden Museum)

Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero by Charles Sprawson

“On its publication in 1992 this book burst into my life like a water-bomb. I’m still wet. It’s a book you can plunge into whenever you are dull or stiff or sad.”

Big Wednesday director John Milius

“Although I’ve never surfed it captures better than any other cinematography the joyousness and repair of water.”


Ellis Woodman (Director, The Architecture Foundation)

Leo Boix

“Leo is an Argentinian poet who lives in Deal. He is writing a book of poems based on his experience of swimming in the sea every day.”


Tracey Emin Studio

Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain by Roger Deakin

“A classic”


Owen Hopkins (Architecture Programme Curator, Royal Academy of Arts)

Swimming to Heaven: the Lost Rivers of London by Iain Sinclair


Kate Rew (Founder, Outdoor Swimming Society)

The Swimming Song by Eddi Reader

“It has that slightly Ceilidh Scottish glee thing going on. A real divebomb into the water abandon.”

To The River by Olivia Laing

“Her descriptions of the river warrant a recommendation.”


Pat Brown (Chair of London Festival of Architecture & Deputy Chair of Mayor’s Design Advisory Group)

“I love some of the 50’s films with glamorous pools, or the David Hockney pool pictures, and I drool over the Richard Neutra housing in LA especially the Kaufman House with the pool overlooking the Hollywood plains.”


Caitlin Davies (author)

The Great Swim by Gavin Mortimer

“A rollicking good read.”

Going Swimming by Sarah Garland

“A kid’s book, I used to read it to my daughter when she was little.”


Amy Sharrocks (artist)

Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche by Luce Irigaray

“The great French philosopher writes the whole book from the point of view of a female ocean swallowing whole the ineffectual barbs of Nietzsche’s superman.”

Watermark director Jennifer Baichwal

“Extraordinary film, beautiful and crucial.”


Jenny Landreth (journalist and author)

Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton

“It’s a cool story about the highs and lows of a swimming life, told with art (but not whimsy), clarity, and understated humour.”

The Story of Swimming by Susie Parr

“A big chunky book, a substantial present but it’s beautiful and essential.”


Matt Bamford Bowes (Product Manager, Thames Baths)

Liquid Assets (Played In Britain) by Janet Smith

“Tracey Emin wrote the introduction to Liquid Assets and describes her vision of London Ovals, lidos in the Thames. A must read for this alone!”


James Lowe (Co-founder, Thames Baths)

Here Comes The Sun: Architecture and Public Space in 20th Century European Culture by Ken Worpole

As The Guardian said, “Here Comes The Sun examines how social reformers, planner and architects tried to remake the city in the image of a sunlit, ordered utopia.”


Chris Romer-Lee (Co-founder, Thames Baths)

Downstream: A History and Celebration of Swimming the River Thames by Caitlin Davies

“Interested in swimming in the Thames? This is the book that has it all from 1826 river races to Thames Baths (yep, we get a mention too). Simply a must have.”

Pondlife by Al Alvarez

“A 70 year old swimmer’s diary describing his year-round swimming in Hampstead ponds. Beautiful, dreamy and captures why a cold water swim is such a tonic.”

Season’s Greetings from us all at Thames Baths!