A golden year for dippers

Chris Brompton, Janet Connelly, Steve Tighe, Cllr Liam Dealtry, Adrian Trower
Chris Brompton, Janet Connelly, Steve Tighe, Cllr Liam Dealtry, Adrian Trower

Bridlington’s Christmas Day dip celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, with dozens of people expected to head into the North Sea to raise money for charity.

Organiser Steve Tighe is hoping people will turn out in force to mark the occasion and show their respect for Warwick Connelly, the man who started the tradition back in 1966.

-  Des Connelly (Warwick's dad), Cheryl Sinclair (family friend) and Warwick Connelly

- Des Connelly (Warwick's dad), Cheryl Sinclair (family friend) and Warwick Connelly

This year, all proceeds will go to Bridlington RNLI and members of the lifeboat crew helped to officially launch the 2016 dip on Monday.

Steve said: “Please come down and support even if you are not going in.

“Come along bring a festive flask filled with an appropriate beverage and throw a couple of pounds into a bucket.

“The lifeboat crew are an amazing bunch who give up so much of their own personal time, risking their own lives on regular occasions to ensure the safety of you and yours.”

The dip will take place on the North Beach at 10am on Christmas Day and Bridlington’s inshore lifeboat and crew will be on hand as a safety boat.

The RNLI was one of Warwick’s favourite charities and his wife Janet said it was wonderful that the event would carry on in his memory.

Back in the 60s, Warwick thought it would be a good idea to go for a Christmas day dip along with his family and friends, and this soon became an annual event with scores of people donning fancy dress and taking the plunge.

It grew in popularity and quickly became a regular part of many Bridlington people’s Christmas Day

Warwick died in 2008 but Janet and her family continued to run the event until last year, when Steve and his team at Blast Fitness took over.

Sponsorship forms are available on the Blast Christmas Day Dip 2016 Facebook page or at Blast Fitness on Brett Street. For more details, contact Steve on 07724 362999.

The Mayor of Bridlington, Cllr Liam Dealtry will also be attending the event, and he has organised his own Dip For Heroes on Boxing Day.

That event takes place on the South Beach, near to the inshore lifeboat station.

Meet at 9.45am and all participants will receive a free hot drink and bacon sandwich from Richie’s Cafe Bar.

All money raised goes to the mayor’s chosen charity and organisations.