New Year revellers resolve to brave
the chills for traditional winter dip

0
Have your say

Hardy souls from around the county ushered in the new year with a splash at traditional New Year’s Day dips.

More than 70 people took the plunge in the River Wharfe at Otley, where the event has been taking place for more than 30 years. It is now done in memory of founder Joe Town, who died in 2011.

Plunge at the White Wells, Bath House,  Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire.

Plunge at the White Wells, Bath House, Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire.

His daughter Helen Town, of Yeadon in West Yorkshire, said: “That feeling of adrenaline when you get it – it is such a buzz and everyone stays around afterwards for a drink.

“It wasn’t too cold this year, maybe about six degrees, but it is lovely to see so many people still doing something that he started.”

Funds raised by the event will this year go to Sue Ryder Wheatfield’s hospice at Headingley in Leeds.

In Ilkley people queued up to use the plunge pool at White Wells, which dates back to the 1700s. It is open 10am-5pm for people who want to jump in on a first-come, first-served basis, with the busiest day by far always being January 1.

Dippers are asked to throw loose change into the baths and support the cafe in return for taking part. Crowds also lined the seafront at Scarborough’s South Bay for the annual New Year’s Day dip in the North Sea, which has been the customary way to mark the turn of the year for around 17 years.

New Year’s Day dippers shook off their hangovers by braving the icy waters of the Firth of Forth in Scotland. Hundreds gathered on the shore at South Queensferry to watch the annual Loony Dook fundraiser.

A swimmer dressed as Donald Trump stole the spotlight, with others opting for kilts, T-shirts or traditional beachwear for the sell-out event.

A total of £1 from every ticket bought is donated to the RNLI, and the fancy dress winner receives £250 to donate to a charity of their choice.