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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > April 2018 > TARN BAGGERS


In the 1950s, Colin Dodgson and Timothy Tyson swam in every tarn in the Lake District. Richard Nelsson recounts the feats of two naked adventurers


Everything from the largest sheets of water to reedchoked ponds were visited

Colin Dodgson and Timothy Tyson

A shopkeeper and a cobbler from the Lakeland village of Grasmere

On a bleak October day in 1959, two swimmers shivering in a biting shower of hail scrambled out of a high mountain tarn and shook hands: they had just completed one of the most remarkable outdoor swimming feats of recent times.

Over an eight-year period, Colin Dodgson, 49, and Timothy Tyson, 75, had succeeded in bathing in every tarn – 463 by their reckoning – scattered across the English Lakeland fells. Everything from the largest sheets of water to reed-choked ponds had been visited, often in the winter months and at times requiring them to dig through deep snow or break the ice to reach the water. All swims were done stark naked.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Our April issue is our one-year anniversary issue, and it's a cracker to get you in the mood for the start of the main outdoor swimming season. On the training front, we've got a couple of kick and pull sets to try out or a fitness and technique boost, and would look at how poor technique may not only slow you down but also be a factor in shoulder injuries. Our contributor Becky Horsbrugh relates how she became a hero for a day in Bangladesh when she swam across the Bangla Channel. Then, just in case you thought outdoor swimming was a new thing, Richard Nelsson tells us the story of two swimmers from the 1950s who went about swimming in every tarn in the Lake District, naked.