River thames

It’s about time we cleaned up our filthy rivers

Cold water swimming has gone from an eccentric and very niche pursuit to something everyone is doing – and is very keen to tell you about, whether or not you’re interested. There’s been a bit of a backlash against the sport’s popularity recently, with a variety of objections. The first comes from the ‘in my day, we called it swimming’ brigade, who are particularly aerated about the current fashionable term ‘wild swimming’. It’s just swimming, they say, and people who do it aren’t any more special than anyone else. The second is the one that accompanies every new trend: it’s being colonised by annoying middle class types who are turning