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Arthur Lowe at the Swim England Masters National Championships in Sheffield. Swim England / Will Johnston Photography
Stripping down to the bare essentials of life and striking a pose

Stripping down to the bare essentials of life and striking a pose

An 88-year-old British Masters swimmer, Arthur Lowe, is offering his services as an artist’s model on the Costa del Sol, a pastime he has enjoyed for 50 years

Tony Bryant

FUENGIROLA.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023, 08:12

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Stripping in front of an art class and holding a pose for half an hour in one’s birthday suit is something that many people would find uncomfortable, or even embarrassing.

The majority of people are not accustomed to baring all to strangers, but one 88-year-old British pensioner has no qualms about offering his services as a life model, a pastime he has enjoyed for almost 50 years.

Arthur Lowe, who turned 88 earlier this month, is not shy about revealing his body in public, seeing as he is also a Masters swimmer. Arthur set a new British record in the men’s freestyle during the Swim England National Masters Championships in 2021, and last year, he had “the best weekend of my swimming life” when he set a world record during championships in Sheffield.

“My first big swimming event was in Christchurch in New Zealand in 2002, which was quite a long way to go for a swim,” the sprightly pensioner tells SUR in English.

Along with his second wife, Marion, who is the town crier of Shipston-on-Stour, Arthur lives on the Costa delSol for three months of the year. He is now looking to offer his body for art classes or schools in the Fuengirola area.

“I have been doing life modelling for years and years actually. I started in 1975 when a friend asked me to model for him but I didn’t know what it involved. In those days, you didn’t let people down when you had committed to something, but it didn’t bother me taking my clothes off,” he says, laughing as he remembers the incident.

Not an exhibitionist

He has life modelled in the UK, Portugal and in Australia, where “a lack of money” forced him to strike a pose on several occasions to finance a 12-month backpacking trip down under in 2003.

Arthur, who says he is “definitely not an exhibitionist”, takes his modelling seriously, even though he is aware that some people find it an unusual pastime.

“Life modelling is a very respectable occupation and pastime. I know some people might think it strange, but I am very experienced, and I take it very seriously,” Arthur explains.

Arthur’s name has been something which he is “grateful” for because having the same name as a famous British actor caused a laugh on numerous occasions during his professional career as a salesman.

“Having the same name as a fictional Home Guard captain caused many a smile when I handed my business card to clients during my sales days. I was thankful that I never had a name like Adolf Hitler,” Arthur says, bursting into laughter.

Hair-raising stunts

It would appear that not many things scare Arthur because he has undertaken a couple of hair-raising stunts over the years, including a wing walk on a biplane and a sky dive. He dreamed of becoming a pilot seeing as he has a lifelong love of flying and one of his greatest achievements was flying in a WWII fighter plane.

“My biggest boast is that last year I flew in a Spitfire. I’ve always wanted to do this because I used to watch them as a kid. The one I flew in was one of the first Spitfires to shoot down a German plane,” the proud Brummie explains.

In a Spitfire last year.
In a Spitfire last year. sur

In the meantime, Arthur  (arthurlowe35@icloud.com ) intends to keep his feet firmly on the ground while spending his thirteenth consecutive winter on the coast, although he is keen to strip down to the bare essentials to participate in any art classes that might be looking for a life model.

“Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to do some modelling while I’m here,” he says.

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