He had never swum a full length in his life, but the mayor of Bourne did just that in support of one of the town’s top community facilities.
Coun Philip Knowles, a self-confessed non-swimmer, took to the water at Bourne Outdoor Pool on Monday.
He wanted to increase the profile of the facility and also raise money for his chosen charities, as well as for the charitable trust that runs the pool.
And, with just a small rest in between, he made it from one end of the near Olympic-sized pool to another, raising several hundred pounds in the process.
After drying off, Coun Knowles said: “I’m a non swimmer, and I finally did my 50 yards, although I had to stop on the way.
“It was a substantial challenge. I’ve never done that far in my life. I think people were worried in case I drank all the water.
“I was a bit disappointed I didn’t make it all the way. It wasn’t long into the swim that I realised I was going to be struggling. I tend to breathe under the water, which is not a good idea.
“But at the end of the day it is done. And for something that started as a bit of a joke it’s raised hundreds.”
Coun Knowles had never been to the pool before, but decided to pay a visit after a request from a resident at The Cedars care home.
He spoke to Bourne Outdoor Swimming Pool chairman Mandy Delaine-Smith and arranged a date.
“I thought I needed a reason to go down,” he said. “I thought I would get close friends and family to give me £1 if I could try to do 50 yards. I said if I didn’t survive they would have to give me £2.
“But people started coming up with cheques for £10, £20 or £50.
“All of a sudden it was into a few hundred pounds, and money is still coming in.
“It’s something that’s turned out to be beneficial to the charity.”
The money raised on the day will go to the mayor’s charities, which are Dementia Support South Lincs, The Willoughby School and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Coun Knowles also made his own donation to the pool trust as a thank you for their cooperation.
The outdoor pool relies on donations and the hard work of volunteers to keep going.
Coun Knowles said: “It’s a lovely facility and Bourne is so lucky to have it. So much praise must go to the trustees and the charity.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor the mayor can get in touch with town clerk Ian Sismey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01778 426123.
The outdoor pool is open for general swim from 12.30pm to 6.30pm Monday to Friday and 10.30am to 6.30pm Saturday and Sunday.
Visit www.bourneoutdoorswimmingpool.org for more information.