Vindication Swim at the Alhambra Keswick March 8th.

If there is one place in the entire country where I would wish to be for the Premiere Day launch for “Vindication Swim”, if I wasn’t already committed, it is The Alhambra in Keswick, Lake District, a place I regard as my second home! To think of this wonderful, original film, that I have had the pleasure to work on for five gruelling but highly enjoyable years is simply brilliant. The people of the Lake District are going to love it as it speaks to their hearts on issues of courage, fortitude, battle in the face of formidable opposition and triumph against the elements!

I met the Lake District in early childhood, so around the late 1950s when my parents and I would stay, principally in Keswick or Ambleside and walk the hills all day, although I had to wait until my 60s to fulfil a lifetime ambition and do Striding and Sharp Edge, equally an unforgettable experience!

Then, in 1977, I toured with a play, Brother Francis, to the Lakeside Theatre, Keswick (The old Century Theatre, as was!) and played for a week of sold out houses!

I have completed Wild Swims in waters, tarns and meres across Cumbria, climbed Scafeel Pike and ventured over rough terrain and easy lakeside walks. In more recent years, with my partner Jill, I have returned many times to Derwent and also to The Langdales and have lost none of my Lakes passion.

Shoot for Vindication Swim off Newhaven 2nd Sep 2019

“Vindication Swim” tells the remarkable story of Mercedes Gleitze (Kirsten Callaghan), the first British woman to swim the English Channel. It is an incredible story both in its own time and for women today. Born 1900 in Brighton, the daughter of a German immigrant, working class typist who funded all her own open water endeavours and who, on 7 October 1927, and at the eighth attempt, succeeded in swimming the Channel! But that was just the start of the adventure! The Nation took Gleitze to its heart, for reasons you will see in the film “Vindication Swim”! The heroism of Mercedes has both timely and uplifting relevance today. But any wild swimmer who swims around the World, including the Lake District will see Mercedes as the pioneer of Open Water Swimming.

Having had the honour to also appear in “Poor Things”, a great cameo character part, it is both exciting and a delight to be back with you, playing Mercedes Coach, Harold Best in “Vindication Swim”. He has his own demons to be resolved: does he succeed? See this stunning film!!


This is an entirely independent and 100% British made film with British Producers and actors. The making of the film is a story unto itself! It is gloriously uplifting and tale of endeavour for today as one woman triumphs against prejudice, patriarchy, natural elements and the terrifying open water swimming experience of swimming the Channel!

See it at the Alhambra, Keswick, bring your friends it will be an uplifting and encouraging experience, something to be truly enjoyed! Swim with Gleitze, share her passion, touch the sky and water with her! Harold, her coach, tells you so!! It’s going to be a fabulous showing. I only wish I could be with you!

John Locke (as Harold Best!)

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