As part of this years nationwide Heritage Open Day and Brighton & Hove Open Door 2012 we are organising a number of Floating Memories events related to the history of Brighton, swimming and sea bathing.All events need to be booked in advance and are free.

Photographing Brighton Swimming Club 2004 – 2012
Kevin Meredith
Thursday, 6 September, 1800
Regency Town House

Photographer and club member Kevin Meredith (aka Lomokev) has been photographing fellow members of Brighton Swimming Club since he joined in 2004, creating images that capture the eccentricity, endurance and tenacity of Brighton’s sea swimmers. Kevin will talk about some of the striking photographs he has taken of club members in the sea in all weather over the years.`

Healthy or Hazardous: The scientific method in the madness of sea swimming
Mark Harper
Thursday, 6 September, 1900
Regency Town House

What happens when you get into cold water, how the body adapts and why a course of sea swimming may help you get through an operation. Dr Mark Harper is a consultant anaesthetist at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals who, accidentally and via quite unrelated routes, has developed an interest in the negative effects of getting cold during surgical operations and the positive effects of cold water swimming. He therefore spends much of his professional life researching ways to keep patients warm and his personal life enjoying swimming in a cold sea.

Pleasure on the Edge: Brighton’s architecture for seaside bathing and swimming
Dr Fred Grey
Friday, 7 September, 1800
Regency Town House

For almost three centuries holidaymakers have been bathing and swimming in the sea that laps Brighton beach. But how and why the sea has been enjoyed – or sometimes endured – has changed over time. This important part of Brighton history is also revealed in the buildings at least in part designed for bathing and swimming. Bathing machines, bathing pavilions, open-air pools and even Brighton’s three piers form part of an absorbing story of society engaging with nature. Join Dr Fred Grey for this fascinating talk.

Swimming in Top Hats
David Simkin
Friday, 7 September, 1900
Regency Town House

Photographic historian David Simkin will examine a photograph that is believed to have been taken by Benjamin Botham around 1863 of Brighton Swimming Club, as there is question over what year it was taken. Someone thinks they have found a connection with a Club minute book from 1863, and that this might be a photograph taken as early as 1863. Notes in the Committee minutes from 2 June 1863 state that they let a new member be admitted ‘on condition of his taking a photographic sketch of the members of the Club’, whilst another member thinks it was taken much later in parody, around the 1900s due to the style of costume.

Floating Memories – Aquatic Audio Heritage Experience
Sunday 9 September, 1200 – 2PM (6 places)
MEET: By the waters edge (on the beach).
Next to the East Street Groyne (Donut Groyne)

This unique aquatic audio experience allows you to listen to the memories of members of the Brighton Swimming Club whilst leisurely swimming and bathing in the sea around the beach at the Palace (Brighton) Pier, which is the area where Brighton Swimming Club was formed in 1860. These recordings (duration ten minutes) have been made by the Floating Memories volunteer project team who have spent the last year recording the memories of members past and present. The earliest memory recorded is from Dick Reeves in which he recalls time spent working as a teenager on the beach and takes you to present day memories of swimming around the pier on cold winter mornings. Please note: This event takes place on a low (neap) tide. Only competent swimmers allowed.