Hundreds brave a chilly Christmas Day dip in Felixstowe
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds kicked off their Christmas celebrations today with a splash - braving the cold waters at Felixstowe for the town’s big Christmas Day dip.
Scores of people donned a swimsuit, or fancy dress, to take a plunge this morning, raising thousands of pounds for charity.
The cold and frosty day seemed not to have put many from taking on the challenge, the beach near Mannings Amusements was lined with people eager to start their Christmas day in style.
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.
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“We have had some fantastic crowds here today,”
Arthur Sissis, 23, who has come 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.”
The event has been a popular tradition in the town for the past 15 years. Those taking part buy a ticket - with all proceeds going to St Elizabeth Hospice.
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 had cycled 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.”
And just moments after the swimmers got back out of the water, the sun came out - giving them all some well needed rays of warmth.