Tag Archives: happy wild swimming

Tony is swimming to France

Tony Marshall is happy wild swimming to France for charity.

He is swimming solo across the English Channel for Little Havens Children’s Hospice.

Support his worthwhile cause by donating to his JustGiving page here:


Happy Swimmer Tony in happy wild swimming cap waiting to swim the English Channel www.altern8ives.com
Happy Swimmer Tony in happy wild swimming cap waiting to swim the English Channel
Happy Swimmer Tony in his happy swimming trunks waiting to swim solo across the English www.altern8ives.com
Happy Swimmer Tony in his happy swimming trunks waiting to swim solo across the English Channel


Raising money for

Little Havens Children's Hospice

Little Havens Children’s Hospice

Charity Registration No. 1022119

When a family has been told that there’s no cure for their child’s illness, Little Havens Hospice can help. Our specialist care is free but we have to raise £100,000 every week to be there for everyone who needs us. That’s only possible because of you. Together we’re ‘Making every day count’

Tony’s story:


Well, what can I say.  This time last year, I was in a totally different place.   I am a member of the Redcaps Open Water Swimming Club and loved nothing better than to socialise and swim with my best mate Tony Mellett.  We covered all sorts of swim events together and took part at every opportunity.  But then on 1st May 2014, sadly, he collapsed and died.  No warning, no illness, just collapsed and died.  Things like this are not supposed to happen to my mates.

My mind has been a bit of a whirl-wind since then.  I distanced myself from the club a bit and seemed lost without my sole-mate.

In 2013, Tony Mellett and myself were part of a relay team that got within a cats whisker to French soil, but then we had to abandon the mission due to bad weather.  The team, minus my soul mate, got together in 2014 and this time, we had to do it for Tony.  And we did.

But I always secretly had a yearning to attempt this enormous challenge solo one day. And now seems as good a time as any.  I have devoted a whole year to training and am currently being pushed to extremes by my coach and Redcaps Lady Captain, Lorraine Rate.  She sets all my sessions for me on a weekly basis, and swims with me once a week to ensure I’m on track.  I hate her most of the time coz the sessions hurt like hell, but at least I don’t have to worry about what to do next.  I just wait for my Monday email and follow instructions!!!!

Anyway, back to my challenge.  Having been part of two relay crossings and having been fortunate to be part of Tom Durhsens boat crew last year, I know exactly what I have let myself in for.  ‘The Mistress’ as the English Channel is often referred to by solo swimmers can be evil.  (A bit like Lorraine!).  She can turn on you without warning and if she decides she ain’t letting you across that channel, then that’s it.  She turns and churns and spits you out – definately like Lorraine!!   And, as Tom found out only too well on his crossing when at one point, he had swum strong and solid for over an hour but only moved forward a few metres.   Evil bitch is that Channel Mistress.  So, I am fully aware of what I have let myself in for.

Lorraine and I took a tour of Little Havens recently and whilst we all know what Little Havens is, until you walk around that beautiful establishment in Benfleet and come close to all those little suffering children, it doesn’t really sink home.  I want to make a difference to someone, I want to help, I want to contribute.  We were taken into the Woodland Suite, where they take the children to die peacefully.  They decorate the room each time in association with what that child loved best. We visited on a day when a small boy, who had been a huge West Ham fan, had just passed away.  Emma explained how the room was decorated in all West Ham colours and posters to make his final days so much more relaxing for him and his family.  There were children curled up in blankets on the sofa watching Disney’s Frozen.  How we got through that day without tears, I do not know.  So, this is why I have to swim to France.   I want to make a contribution to Little Havens and help make a difference to a child’s final journey.

So, if you could donate a little to my cause, I would be so grateful.  Any amount at all, every little bit helps.

Thank you.

Tony Marshall

Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

HAPPY DRYROBE Changing robe

NEW HAPPY DRYROBE! For 2015 season.

HAPPY DRYROBE – Happy Wild Swimming & Happy Swimming


Dryrobe Happy Wild Swimming Happy Swimming www.altern8ives.com
Dryrobe with choice of wording: Happy Wild Swimming or Happy Swimming



The warmest all-weather change robe on the planet!

Get changed inside it!

Easy and convenient – you can even wear it to and from swims.

Ideal for changing your clothing or wetsuits outdoors in any weather. The happy dryrobe has a waterproof & windproof exterior nylon fabric and a lining that dries you and keeps you warm. Soft lined external pockets as well as a large internal storage pocket and MP3 player pocket. The Unique chunky YKK® zip front is an essential element providing easy-to-grip fast exit & convenient entry.

Protecting you from cold winds and wet weather the Dryrobe® will help retain your core body temperature, ensuring you have full body coverage from all elements. Wear it before your event or activity and leave it on over your clothing or wetsuit. Re-use it several times throughout the day without ever feeling cold or wet. Cover up, get yourself dry quickly and stay nice and warm with Dryrobe®

STANDARD ADULT Size (‘fits almost all’ size though other sizes and colours are available). Overall length is 1.2 metres down from the shoulder. Internal body changing space is 84cm width. The Standard Adult size suits heights from 5’1″ up to 6’3″ suitable for most people.

Ask us for a competitive quote – Contact Us

Dryrobe with choice of wording: Happy Wild Swimming or Happy Swimming www.altern8ives.com
Dryrobe with choice of wording: Happy Wild Swimming or Happy Swimming


100% waterproof and windproof outer shell fabric. All one-piece body construction so no shoulder seams.

Super warm lining made from a synthetic Lambswool. This draws the water away from your skin, drying you instantly while insulating you and making you feel unbelievably warm. Conventional toweling once wet can take an age to dry and often remains wet against your skin. Add to that some wind chill and you will be suffering before you know it.


The full-length 2-way reversible YKK® zip allows you to grip the zip from inside the robe while you are changing – an essential element in the design to allow fast easy entry & exit particularly when your fingers are cold or numb. The zip can also be used as normal from the outside.

All the seams on the dry robe advance model are sealed which along with minimal seams anyway ensure excellent protection from the elements.


X-SMALL – Length 800cm Changing space 70cm width – longer sleeve for extra coverage (suitable for kids age 5-10) – NEW – COMING SOON! Contact Us.

SMALL – Length 900cm Changing space 75cm (Suitable ages 8-15 or small adults up to 5’6 approx)

ADULT – Length 1.2m Changing space 84cm, The Adult size is the standard ‘fits most people’ – 5’1″ up to 6’3″

XL – Length 1.4m Changing space 95 cm wide, The Adult size suits 6’2 upwards OR for the wider build person.

(Black & Grey / Black & Red Only)

For a competitive quote please Contact us


Happy Wild Swimming Magazine – A ‘wild’ idea.

Happy Wild Swimming Magazine

Happy Wild Swimming Magazine www.altern8ives.com
Happy Wild Swimming Magazine

Happy Wild Swimming Magazine background.

Once upon a time, a few swimmers found themselves enjoying their hobby of swimming in the sea. That day the sun was shining and the salty water surface glistened like floating diamonds. Each of the swimmers beamed smiles of natural joy, as one said, “I’m so happy wild swimming, we should declare it with our own fun design swim cap”.

A month later, with the smiley cap design created, passed to a supplier and caps printed, those swimmers returned to enjoy many more swims with a growing group of local friends, all wearing smiles on their faces … and on their heads!

As swims progressed in different locations and more swimmers joined in the fun a few onlookers requested they have caps too. The word soon spread and the requests became more frequent. The original private local swimming group already had their own secret social group but to allow others to enjoy the fun, the caps were given their own public Facebook group. Swimmers around the UK started to request a cap and some uploaded photos of themselves and friends wearing the caps in different locations and in a variety of poses. The word then reached USA swimmers and swimmers in Miami Beach, Florida, and Seattle purchased their own caps, joining in the sharing of images via the Facebook group Happy Wild Swimming Caps.

With the months moving from summer to winter a few less adventurous swimmers requested that they still enjoy the fun design but wanted to do so in lido swimming pools and indoor swimming pools. A less wild environment but still one in which they wished to declare that they were always ‘Happy Swimming’! Added to this were a few requests from those outdoor swimmers happily acclimatised to all year round outdoor swimming, but who, as one put it, were less ‘wild’ and more ‘civilised’ swimmers … simply, ‘Happy Swimming’ – so the optional ‘Happy Swimming’ cap was created. In fact, several swimmers have purchased various colours in both cap designs to suit their various swimming locations of outdoors, indoors and when on holiday abroad.

The social fun of sharing photos uploaded has been enjoyed by swimmers around the UK. Not just in various places across England, also in Wales, Scotland, Shetlands, Channel Islands and USA. Swimmers have taken them on trips abroad, featuring caps on sunbeds in the Canary Islands, in Spanish coastal waves, bathing in hot springs in Iceland and even worn by a horse rider in Africa! Currently awaited in complete contrast is a cap to be worn by an Artic ice-swimmer in Alaska.

It begs the question, ‘can we rule out that one day they’ll be a cap in space?’

To mark the development of the ‘Happy Wild Swimming’ caps and ‘Happy Swimming’ caps, swimmers have requested that a magazine be created to
further spread the enjoyment swimmers have when happy wild swimming. So, in the pipeline, subject to swimmers contributions continuing, the Happy Wild Swimming Magazine is on the blocks … ready to dive in anytime soon.

A Happy Wild Swimming Magazine – what a ‘wild’ idea!

The Happy Wild Swimming Magazine can be obtained from:



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BUY NOW: Happy Wild Swimming caps & Happy Swimming caps

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