On Monday, 5th August, the body of 50-year-old Sussie Ahlburg, a successful photographer, was found in the Ladies Swimming Pond, after a missing person’s report had been filed the previous day. On Friday, Ham and High, the local newspaper, stated that the police were not treating Ms Alhburg’s death as suspicious but the pond was still closed to swimmers as police divers continued to search it and there was no indication when the pond would be re-opened.
As a consequence, female swimmers were encouraged to use the men’s pond instead, rather than the nearby mixed swimming pond. Naturist Action Group supporter, John McPartlin has written the following to Ham and High, and copied it to Sue Ireland (Director of Open Spaces, City of London Corporation), Glenda Jackson MP, Hampstead and Kilburn (Lab) and Tulip Siddiq, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn.
“Following the recent tragedy at the Ladies Bathing Pond on Hampstead Heath, in which a swimmer lost her life, the pool has now been closed indefinitely. Ladies are in the meantime being asked to take themselves along not to the mixed swimming lake, however, which would have seemed to be the most logical response, but, instead, on a morning only basis, to use the Men’s Pond, where naturist sunbathing is permitted and is commonplace. The result has been to have women now sharing friendly chats with men not wearing a costume, and even joining them in the showers. This is all rather jolly and everyone appears to enjoy the new arrangement and hopes that it will continue. Naturist Action Group has in the past asked whether the City of London Corporation, which administers the heath, could not set aside a small secluded area of the parkland for mixed naturist sunbathing, for which there is a demand, but this has so far always been declined. In the light of this new development it would seem that the corporation is now becoming more amenable to the suggestion.
“I would be grateful if you could share your views on this subject.
If any of the above should choose to share their views with John McPartlin then with permission, we shall share it with you too.