The 2017 Christmas Day Swim!
Sandford Parks Lido will once again hold our famous Christmas Day Swim this Yuletide!
For many years we have told the tale of how our traditional Christmas Day Swim at the lido was born. During the Second World War (1939-1945) leading up to the D-Day landings in Normandy there was a build-up of military personal in Gloucestershire and the number of people living and working in Cheltenham was significantly increased. The car park outside the lido was used as a fuel dump and American soldiers were stationed here. The story revolves around these soldiers deciding to have a Christmas Day dip in the lido and thus creating an annual tradition. A few years ago, after a visit to the Cheltenham Local and Family History Centre we discovered that the tradition was born before the Second World War and that hardy swimmers were possibly swimming on Christmas Day during the inaugural 1935 season. We came across the attached image in the Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Graphic dated Saturday January 1st 1938 which shows a group of swimmers after their 1937 Christmas Day dip.
The 1937 Christmas Day Swimmers. In the last ten years, the Christmas Day Swim has grown enormously and is now one of the biggest events of the year at Sandford Parks Lido.
The 2017 Christmas Day Swim will start at 11am and will finish at 11:30am. However, we ask everyone who is taking part in the swim to be at the Lido for 10:30am to sign a printed copy of the liability release form or you can speed up entry by agreeing to this online – https://endurancecui.active.com/event-reg/select-race?e=49564852 This must be signed to take part. The water will be extremely cold; therefore this is an event for adults only; last years the water temp last year was 6C/42F