Outdoor Swimming photos or stories to share?

Logo with stylised river and pines, link to BFER website
The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme

Project activities postponed but we can share online stories, photos or anything on outdoor swimming in Breckland. Do you have old photos, old maps or swim spots info, or stories about nice days out swimming or messing about in the water, or things that nearly went wrong? Do share or get in touch. You can Download Collection Policy And Agreement form (Word.doc 2 pages)

We’ve had to postpone the training and research into the history of outdoor swimming in the area for now. But meanwhile let’s see what we can do in the project, remotely, online, using social media.

NHLF logo, link to website
The National Lottery Heritage Fund

These projects, Tales from the River and Healing Waters, are part of the The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme (BFER), supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Many other projects within the BFER scheme are also sharing interesting information and ways to get involved with nature, heritage, and other activities related to those projects, and during the spring and summer I have been sharing those ideas on social media and in lists of stay at home and cultural/nature resources, which you can find on the Swims section of the website.

Would you like to share any stories, photos, maps or information about swim places and experiences or anything else related to outdoor swimming in Breckland?

Are you looking through old photos or books, thinking about nice days out swimming, picnicking or messing about in or on the water? Any old videos or films? Have you got any stories about near misses or things that could have gone wrong at the river?

If you have anything interesting, please let us know or share it.

We have a form to provide stories or information, which includes an agreement you can sign and details of what we are collecting. Download Collection Policy And Agreement form (Word.doc 2 pages)

children in the river with a family sitting on the edge
Children enjoying the water in summer at St Helens

The two projects are  Tales from the River, looking at this history of outdoor swimming in the area, and Healing Waters, looking at practical issues of safety and access for swimming in the area.

These projects, Tales from the River and Healing Waters, are part of The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme (BFER), supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Some info on a couple of unusual swim places below.

We will share material we find as well, on this website, and:

– on the project Facebook page, Bathing in the Brecks, https://www.facebook.com/osbrecks/

– on the project Twitter, https://twitter.com/OSBrecks

– on the project Instagram, www.instagram.com/osbrecks

Practicalities

Share material with us:

map of Duck Sluice area

Some local photos and stories

Black and white photo of men bathing in a river pool
Soldiers at Duck Sluice, Fornham St Genevieve, 13th August 1915. Picture by Walton Burrell

An old photo held in Suffolk Record Office shows soldiers relaxing in cooling off in the river, near where they were stationed. Is there a pool here today?

“In 1914, the estate [Fornham Park at Fornham St Genevieve] was requisitioned by the War office for military occupation. …Duck sluice today is completely derelict and only a few bricks remain to show its location. Its original purpose was to control the water supply to an offshoot of the River Lark, which also no longer exists.” http://www.stedmundsburychronicle.co.uk/fornhampark/fornhampark.htm

kids paddling at a river beach
Mildenhall Beach, thanks to Megan Flint for the lovely photo

Do you know where the little beach is in Mildenhall? Locals find their way to it through the woods. There is a lovely photo of people enjoying a summer paddle in a local Facebook forum discussion. Many towns and villages have their local swim spots, some have been used for a long time. This one must be more recent, as it is in the cut-off channel, which was only constructed in the 1950s and 1960s.

Two fascinating accounts of the history and the course of this channel, in an Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership website article and on Wikipedia.

There are plans to open up access to the banks at the Mildenhall and Lakenheath end, in other projects in The Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers Landscape Project.

These projects, Tales from the River and Healing Waters, are part of The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme (BFER), supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Logo with stylised river and pines
Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme
NHLF logo
The National Lottery Heritage Fund

swims and swim places, and related issues