Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association (KLPA) represents the community of women who swim in the Ladies’ Pond on Hampstead Heath.
They work to both preserve and protect the Pond, which has been enjoyed by women and girls for more than 100 years. In order to protect this tranquil space, the KLPA have protested against proposals to restrict the Pond’s opening and closing times, and to increase the price of tickets. In 2016, the group also knitted a 200-foot scarf to place around the Pond in protest at plans to close it for a period of time during work on the dams on Hampstead Heath.
The KLPA also work to maintain the Pond as a women’s swimming place, encouraging women to come along to this peaceful spot. You may have previously attended one of their events at the Ladies’ Pond, including their famous festive swim at midday on New Year’s Day.
The history of both the KLPA and the Ladies’ Pond have been the focus of several publications, and we’ll be revisiting this history of the Pond, and hearing stories from the swimmers’ themselves, as part of their upcoming archive launch.
Their archive documents both the pleasure and struggles of the swimming community, dating back to the early twentieth century. Explore their collection to see photos, films, paintings, artefacts, newsletters, press cuttings, and documents about the organisation and the Pond.