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Gallery: Did you take part in the Felixstowe Christmas Day swim?

PUBLISHED: 19:45 26 December 2018

People were in high spirits before their dip   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

People were in high spirits before their dip Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

For many it’s the perfect way to start the big day – a chilly dip in the North Sea.

It’s one of Felixstowe’s great traditions and in various guises dates back more than 40 years.

Years ago it was the Ipswich Sub Aqua Club members who would draw a crowd to see them swim round the pier, and then for several years there was a dash into the waves outside the Fludyers.

These days the Christmas Day dip is held in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice and takes place from the beach opposite Manning’s Amusement Park in Sea Road.

Hundreds kicked off their Christmas celebrations with a splash – and many of them in fancy dress – raising thousands of pounds for the charity.

Sienna Potter, Helen, Fiona and Lauren Pritchard   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSienna Potter, Helen, Fiona and Lauren Pritchard Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

One of those braving the icy waters was Felixstowe’s mayor Graham Newman.

“It is such a marvellous event,” he said. “It’s not just Felixstowe people who get involved, people come from all over Suffolk. There’s just such wonderful spirit to this event.

“We have had some fantastic crowds here today,”

Arthur Sissis, 23, who came from Adelaide in Australia to celebrate Christmas in the UK, was also taking the plunge.

Hundreds of people braved the cold and took part in the St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day swim  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHundreds of people braved the cold and took part in the St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day swim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

He said: “It’s definitely a lot warmer back home - I should be having a barbecue now, it’s 40C there.”

Sienna Potter from Ipswich said the sea was colder than in looked. “It is really cold in there,” she said, “It took my breath away. My uncle passed away this year and St Elizabeth Hospice were really good with us. This is the first year without him so we thought we would do this for him.

“Now it’s time to warm up with some hot chocolate and some warm food.”

Asked how the water was, Steven Raine from Ipswich said: “Is it too obvious to say cold? This my first time taking part but my friend has been doing it for years. I just thought I’d better toughen up and get involved.”

Mark Phillips and Bella Lowedon ready for their dip  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMark Phillips and Bella Lowedon ready for their dip Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Glen Goldsmith hadcycled all the way from Ipswich with his friends to take part. “We’ve got a lift back afterwards thankfully,” he said.

“I have been doing this now for seven years. It is such a fantastic cause, the hospice have helped a number of people I know.”

Alison Walker and Jackie Hoye ready for their swim   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAlison Walker and Jackie Hoye ready for their swim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Reindeers taking a dip   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNReindeers taking a dip Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Hundreds of people braved the cold and took part in the St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day swim  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHundreds of people braved the cold and took part in the St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day swim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Hundreds of people braved the cold and took part in the St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day swim  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHundreds of people braved the cold and took part in the St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day swim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Gill Knight with her friends and family  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGill Knight with her friends and family Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

People warming up before the stampede into the water   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPeople warming up before the stampede into the water Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Hubdreds of people took part in the swim  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHubdreds of people took part in the swim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fancy dress costumes included Santa's elves  and a nun   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFancy dress costumes included Santa's elves and a nun Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Arthur Sissis, Dan Everett and Glen Goldsmith before their dip  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNArthur Sissis, Dan Everett and Glen Goldsmith before their dip Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

People of all ages took part in the dip   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPeople of all ages took part in the dip Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mark Phillips enjoying himself   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMark Phillips enjoying himself Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Cameron Marshall and Mark Suddes with their dog Mabel  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCameron Marshall and Mark Suddes with their dog Mabel Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Elves and snowmen took a dip  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNElves and snowmen took a dip Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Hundreds of people braved the cold and took part in the St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day swim  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHundreds of people braved the cold and took part in the St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day swim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Hundreds of swimmers swam in memory of loved ones   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHundreds of swimmers swam in memory of loved ones Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The cold weather didn't deter the crowds   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe cold weather didn't deter the crowds Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

People joined together for the special swim   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPeople joined together for the special swim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mark Phillips enjoying himself   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMark Phillips enjoying himself Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Friends and family took the plunge togetehr in memory of loved ones   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFriends and family took the plunge togetehr in memory of loved ones Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Friends and family joined together for the Christmas Day swim  in Felixstowe   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFriends and family joined together for the Christmas Day swim in Felixstowe Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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