Whilst watching '1972' on BBC 2 the other night this came on. It is an old swimming advert - I love these old adverts. Dave can't swim so the girl goes off with Mike "who swims like a fish!" There were lots of these adverts around at the time - the government were keen for everyone to swim. I don't believe it could have been like today's equivalent of eating your 5 a day and exercising. I'm not aware there was an obesity epidemic in the 70's. So it must have been purely for safety. Many youngsters would swim in any bit of water given half the chance. My husband, who was born in 1964, recalls swimming in the pit cooling towers in Leigh. He was a Y-front swimmer not a speedo man. He couldn't tell his parents what he was doing with his little friends so they used to swim in their underpants. How dangerous is that! Later he would go swimming with the school at the local 'baths' and they all got changed in wooden single cubicles which had swinging doors. His fondest memories were gaining the oval badges for his swimming prowess and getting them sewn onto his speedos - he had now graduated from the pit cooling towers and his old Y-fronts were consigned to their more conventional use.
One person that didn't swim in his Y-fronts was Mark Spitz who won a massive 7 Gold Medals in the Munich Olympic Games in 1972. Amazing. So no shortage of swimming role models for my husbands generation and as for my generation there was our very own Duncan Goodhew.
|Mark Spitz with all his medals - this isn't my husband's body super imposed with Mark Spitz head although he would like to think it has! - picture from ebay|
By coincidence I came across this linky via BritMums Joy of Swimming Competition, sponsored by British Gas asking for people to blog about their earliest childhood memories of swimming.
As I was born in 1973 I can recall swimming in the 80's more. We used to all go to the local leisure centre with friends on a Saturday for the Crazy Splash - basically a load of inflatables were put in the pool and it was a mass free for all. I don't suppose they would allow it today, too many health and safety rules. There was also an outside paddling pool which you could run out to in the summer. Although the transition from pool to outside was mighty fresh. And who can forget the swimming rules sign? No petting always got a chuckle.
|This has to be the best thing about swimming in the 70's/80's - I mean we all read it. Who needs Saatchi & Saatchi?!|