Gallery: Did you take part in the Felixstowe Christmas Day swim?
PUBLISHED: 19:45 26 December 2018
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.
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.
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.”
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.”