Swimmers at female-only Hampstead open air ponds mixed on the idea of ... trends now

Swimmers at female-only Hampstead open air ponds mixed on the idea of ... trends now
Swimmers at female-only Hampstead open air ponds mixed on the idea of ... trends now

Swimmers at female-only Hampstead open air ponds mixed on the idea of ... trends now

Swimmers at London's famous Hampstead ponds today waded into the controversy over transgender swimmers getting access to the female-only waters - with mixed opinions.

The row was the only subject of conversation at the north London bathing mecca today - after a women's rights group had denounced managers for 'failing to acknowledge their concerns' about the use of the women-only pool by transgender people.

The Women's Rights Network (WRN) has accused the Kenwood Ladies Pond Association (KLPA) of being 'high-handed and undemocratic' by dismissing its attempt to ban trans women from the facility on Hampstead Heath.

But committee chiefs claim any such move would be 'unlawful', having taken legal advice on the move - but the local WRN branch claims it has refused to release the advice to members.

Today as the ponds were busy with bathers despite the forbidding weather, swimmers were divided on what should be done on the question .

The row about shared pools in Hampstead was the only subject of conversation at the north London bathing mecca today

The row about shared pools in Hampstead was the only subject of conversation at the north London bathing mecca today

Swimmers at London 's famous Hampstead ponds today waded into the controversy over transgender swimmers getting access to the female-only waters - with mixed opinions

Swimmers at London 's famous Hampstead ponds today waded into the controversy over transgender swimmers getting access to the female-only waters - with mixed opinions

The Women's Rights Network (WRN) has accused the Kenwood Ladies Pond Association (KLPA) of being 'high-handed and undemocratic'

The Women's Rights Network (WRN) has accused the Kenwood Ladies Pond Association (KLPA) of being 'high-handed and undemocratic'

Committee chiefs claim any such move would be 'unlawful', having taken legal advice on the move

Committee chiefs claim any such move would be 'unlawful', having taken legal advice on the move

Ladies-only pool on Hampstead Heath

Ladies-only pool on Hampstead Heath

Graphic designer Aimee Capstick, 35 (pictured)

Graphic designer Aimee Capstick, 35 (pictured)

Aimee Capstick,35, who uses the womens' pond regularly said: 'I do not have a problem with transgender people swimming next to me.'

The graphic designer added: 'Transgender people are just normal people trying to live a normal life. There's no problem.'

But yoga teacher Jane Jones said she would feel 'uncomfortable' if a transgender person joined her either in changing cubicles or in the pond where entry signs warn visitors the area is meant for 'women only.'

Ms Jones, 48, of Finchley said: 'The pond is designed to be a safe space for women only.

'I would feel very uncomfortable if there was a transgender person next to me while I'm changing or swimming. I have nothing against transgender people, but it is a pond meant for women only and that's the way it should be.

'It is a very difficult, very complicated matter for everyone.

'I have a nephew who is 23 years old and who is transitioning. But that is the way I feel about it when I am swimming. There's always a mixed pond which might seem better for transgender people. '

Retired civil servant Fiona Willis, 68, who swam in the 9C water today, said: 'It is only becoming an issue for being an issue, unfortunately.

Retired civil servant Fiona Willis, 68 (pictured)

Retired civil servant Fiona Willis, 68 (pictured)

' I have been swimming in this pond for 25 years, and I know that the lifeguards have been dealing with this in their own way discreetly for years and years and years.

' I did hear about a person with a hairy body in a bikini who had been a man or may have been transgendering but it's still not a worry.

'After all, one might not be certain if somebody was born a woman or is transgender.

'But we are all here to swim and that's it.'

Retired fashion expert Colin Swift,64, who worked with an array of stars including Elizabeth Taylor, Prince and Grace Jones, said: 'We need to move on.

' I grew up in the seventies in the era of glam rock, disco and punk, when I saw every type of body, shape or sexual being. This should not be a big deal.

'People just need a reason to have something to argue about as they have nothing else to do and when this is done they will move onto something else'

Retired fashion expert Colin Swift,64 (pictured)

Retired fashion expert Colin Swift,64 (pictured)

But Jackie Dean, 52, a nurse, said: 'If am swimming in the pond, which is meant for women only, and I felt there was a transgender person next to me, it would not immediately make me feel negative about it.

'Though I can understand some women not finding it so easy to accept as it is supposed to be an area where we as women can go and be away from the opposite sex.

'But it's very complicated when you talk about people who have transgendered because they are women now and we would do good to accept them as they are. Nobody wants to hurt anyone.'

Graduate Joe Wilson, 23, who is working in a pub, said : ' I am a man who has not transitioned. But if I went into that women's

read more from dailymail.....

NEXT Doctors first 'dismissed' this young girl's cancer symptom before her parents ... trends now