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Breaking the Speedo limit

HATS off to Alton Towers for banning Speedos. If only the same spirit had been present in the pools and beaches I frequented as a child on holiday with my family. The now-famous French swimming pool Speedo-only rule was a memorable feature of our trips abroad &ndash; there were even times when my father rocked up in less embarrassing shorts and was given public tight trunks by pool staff.<br /><br />He didn&rsquo;t mind: Dad, having grown up the consummate European, could often be seen waterside in a pair of old Italian briefs. Does any child, especially a female one, really want to see her father thus clad? The answer is no. Particularly if she has grown up in the prudish US of A, where most women would rather be seen dead than sport a single leg hair in public (let alone both breasts), and where the baggier the better is the rule for clothes. When I wasn&rsquo;t trying to disown him in public, I was groaning: &ldquo;Daaaaaad!&rdquo; Alton Towers is being kind to children. However, that&rsquo;s children.<br /><br />For the adult female, I&rsquo;d have to say Speedos (on men) are a good idea. First, they provide ogling enjoyment &ndash; what woman wouldn&rsquo;t enjoy the sight of an attractive Speedo-clad man? When he&rsquo;s not attractive, it&rsquo;s a world of titters &ndash; those fat men seen in thongs on Mediterranean beaches are actually raucously funny. Speedos are also a handy identification device &ndash; you know what you&rsquo;re getting yourself into should a holiday romance be on the cards. No nasty surprises later. And fair is fair. Men get to see the shape and contour and indeed much of the actual bosoms of every swimming woman. Why should they get to size us up if we can&rsquo;t size them up?<br /><br />Yet it seems that the general feeling is anti-Speedo. The aptly named Little Dix Bay resort in British Virgin Islands is about as far from Alton Towers as you could get. Yet Martein van Wagenberg, its general manager, says: &ldquo;We encourage guests to entertain a more reserved approach&rdquo; &ndash; it is only on the resort&rsquo;s most private beaches that Speedos are acceptable. Funnily enough, my next holiday is in France. Here&rsquo;s to some quality pool time.<br /><br /><strong>Diesel Board Shorts at House of Fraser</strong><br />Deep blue, like the sea.<br /><strong>&pound;30 </strong><br /><br /><strong>Speedo Endurance 8cm Briefs at Debenhams </strong><br />For the subtler man. <br /><strong>&pound;15 </strong><br /><br /><strong>Hom Micro Shorts at House of Fraser</strong><br />Perfect for Hawaii &ndash; or the Med.<br /><strong>&pound;20</strong><br /><br /><strong>Paul Smith Trunk at Liberty</strong><br />A very nice cop-out.&nbsp; <br /><strong>&pound;55</strong>