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Hundreds brave a chilly Christmas Day dip in Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 13:50 25 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:50 25 December 2018

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

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

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.

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

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.

People worked up an appetite for their Christmas dinner  by taking part in the swim  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPeople worked up an appetite for their Christmas dinner by taking part in the swim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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

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

“It is such a marvellous event,” he said.

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

“It’s not just Felixstowe people who get involved, people come from all over Suffolk.

Elves were a popular costume   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNElves were a popular costume Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“There’s just such wonderful spirit to this event.

It was a beautiful day for the swim   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNIt was a beautiful day for the swim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“We have had some fantastic crowds here today,”

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

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

Mark Phillips enjoying himself   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMark Phillips enjoying himself 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.”

It was a beautiful sunny morning for the swim  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNIt was a beautiful sunny morning for the swim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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.

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

Sienna Potter from Ipswich said the sea was colder than in looked.

A nun took a ball out  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA nun took a ball out Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“It is really cold in there,” she said, “It took my breath away.

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

“My uncle passed away this year and St Elizabeth Hospice were really good with us.

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

“This is the first year without him so we thought we would do this for him.

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

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

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

Asked how the water was, Steven Raine from Ipswich said: “Is it too obvious to say cold?

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

“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.”

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

Glen Goldsmith had cycled all the way from Ipswich with his friends to take part.

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

“We’ve got a lift back afterwards thankfully,” he said.

People didn't stay in the water long  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPeople didn't stay in the water long Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“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.”

Young and old took part in the swim   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNYoung and old took part in the swim Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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.

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

Some had less on than others   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSome had less on than others 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

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

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

Even Donald Trump made an appearance   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNEven Donald Trump made an appearance 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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