Bob and Dave's Excellent Adventure

girl learning to swim

The Challenge:

Inspired by the book Liquid Assets and their shared passion for outdoor swimming Bob and Dave intend to swim a mile in every outdoor pool or lido that is still open in the UK. Currently the number stands at 98, 99 or 100 – they think one or two may have reopened. The challenge begins in Somerset on May 19th 2007. Many of the pools are not heated and therefore their opening times are sometimes, but not always (!), limited to the summer months. It may take two summers, but they’re doing it for Save The Children, so please give generously.

The Challengers:


Learnt to swim in the Rock Park Open Air Pool in Barnstaple in the 1950’s. So began his lifetime passion for the sport, which continues today. He played water polo for a number of clubs over a 30-year period and now manages 4 leagues as Dorset County ASA Water Polo Secretary. He formed the Bere Regis Swimming Club in 1976 and still leads the club as Chairman and Chief Coach. Bob came to long distance swimming late. In 1992 he attained a lifetime ambition by swimming the English Channel at the age of 47, gaining the Channel Swimming Association’s Rosemary George Trophy for the most meritorious swim of the year. He has since twice swum the Gulf of Toroneos (26km) and Thessaloniki (21km) in Greece, plus numerous other shorter swims around the UK. This will be a journey back in time for Bob who remembers with great affection, the wonderful friendships formed from a lifetime of swimming.



First learnt to swim in the Jubilee Lido, Penzance in 1957. This started a fifty year love affair with water, particularly the salty variety. He has swum, played water polo and worked as a lifeguard in lidos. In the early 1970’s he won three national long distance swimming titles. He has swum many lakes including Windermere, Coniston, and Balaton (Hungary) and competed in numerous sea swims around the UK coast. He took up triathlon and adventure racing in the 1990’s and embarked upon a series of curiously named events. He has completed two ‘Ironman’ events, the ‘Tough Guy’, ‘Monster Man’, ‘Hell Raiser’, the ‘Grizzly’, ‘The Stickler’ to name but a few and in February 2007 the SW Coastal Marathon.  As a veteran triathlete he represented Great Britain in 2004 in the World Triathlon Championships in Madeira. His passion is for outdoor swimming and he always picks his triathlons by the quality of the swim!  


The Charity:

Save The Children was founded in 1919 by Eglantyne Jebb. Today it works at home and abroad with children who suffer from poverty, disease, injustice and violence to help find lifelong answers to the problems they face. They also lobby governments and international donors to ensure that their policies enable children to be healthy, to go to school and have a secure future.


First Lido Swim

FrontSwimmer doing front crawl

Wiveliscombe Community Swimming Pool on Saturday 19th. July 2007