Mrs Ape retains the Rose Merritt Bowl


27/05/2014 by Carl Reynolds

Mrs Ape retains the Bowl

Mrs Ape retains the Bowl

This time last year, Mrs Ape won the Rose Merritt Bowl, and established a new tradition – the winner has to swim naked in honour of Rose Merritt. Rose was a member of the SLSC in the days when nude bathing was not only considered unremarkable, but also de rigour. Rose herself also earned a living taking her clothes off to enable the local art students to understand the form and beauty of an everyday human body. Unfortunately these days we seem to have succumbed to a combination of prudishness and teenage titilasciousness; such that nudity is either seen as a sign of mental illness, a Femen protest, an Oo-er Mother moment or an attempt to pervert a minor. In spite of all this, Mrs Ape went and won again. And fulfilled tradition by swimming two lengths of Tooting Bec Lido sans cossie, as evidenced below.


14 thoughts on “Mrs Ape retains the Rose Merritt Bowl

  1. bigeoino says:

    Heard recently that many women swim the channel similarly (un)attired to prevent chaffing from their swim suits…

    • Bigeoino – I have heard that some women (but not many) do this to prevent chafing, but why should that be either remarkable or unremarkable? It just is, no?

  2. Well done Mrs Ape! Oddly was debating skinny dipping on the blog yesterday. There’s a definite sub-group movement starting up here. I do it when there’s nobody around, but why worry about other people? Partly it has to do with mastectomies, but I’d be lying if I said that’s the whole reason.

    • We were talking about why some at the lido thought it was brave to swim naked; saying things like, “I wouldn’t have the courage to do that”. Which prompted us to talk about why? From the perspective of the onlooker, the issue is their value system judging a naked person. If you don’t hold to the idea that nakedness is somehow shameful then you cannot be shamed. From the perspective of the naked swimmer, the concern is that I might shock someone else (but that’s playing to their value system – which may be appropriate) or you might get banned from the pool. The latter is more of a concern.

      Beauty, form, acceptability, what’s shocking and so on, are all culturally derived…they are not innate or genetically programmed. And change happens because people say, “sod the norm, I am not abnormal” or weird or strange. And if I am, so what. Have I harmed another? The ongoing conversation for us is – When might it be appropriate to cover your body and when doesn’t it (or shouldn’t it) matter?

  3. Alison Williams says:

    Good for you Kate! I did wonder when I first saw that you had won the Rose Eliot bowl what that was all about and now I know! I like to swim naked and generally think that if people have an issue with it then that is there problem. There is a long and noble history of swimming in the Dart naked and Foxhole school had mixed naked swimming for many years. I was pretty annoyed to be censured recently by DWS and feel glad that others enjoy it too! And may I say what a pert little butt you have! xx

  4. barjennings says:

    Excellent! Good for her. I’m sorry I couldn’t join her, although admittedly, my bottom might not have been quite so photogenic…

  5. wildswimmers says:

    Well done Kate! Lovely photo of a natural swimmer x

  6. David Davies says:

    Ha, I see what you’re talking about now! Well done Kate, magnificent effort, glad to see hubby has captured the magic of the moment whilst retaining most of your modesty. Rose Elliot would be proud….

  7. […] with Nando and an army of helpers; went to the launch of Jenny Landreth’s Swimming London; Mrs Ape won the Rose Merrit Bowl again; and I was the 3rd SuperVet in my one and only […]

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