Success at New Year's Day 'big dip' in East Wittering

Dippers braving the cold for New Year's Day
Dippers braving the cold for New Year's Day

More than 150 people began 2017 with a bang as they braved the cold and rain to take part in the New Year's Day big dip in East Wittering.

Keen dippers were watched by more than 2500 spectators from the promenade as they prepared for the plunge, with many donning a costume for the occasion.

Dippers braving the cold for New Year's Day

Dippers braving the cold for New Year's Day

This year's dip was organised by Birdham and Witterings scout groups and the event saw numbers once again exceed expectations, with the dip delayed until 12pm to accommodate all who wanted to take part.

Organiser Ray Nye was thrilled with the turnout.

He said: "This event which has been held now for many years by the group bring spectators and dippers from far afield to observe and take part in this fun event.

"We would like to thank the Shore pub for the use of their premises, St John's in case needed, Calamity’s for providing hot food and catering and the Wittering Fire Service for not only ensuring our safety in the sea and also a hot water shower for dippers on the way out from the dip.

Dippers braving the cold for New Year's Day

Dippers braving the cold for New Year's Day

"Thank you also to KN Sound and Celebrations and Hawkins and Smith for help advertising the event along with the Fishermans hut for supplying the free electricity for us."

A fancy dress competition was also held and the winners were: child category: Blac Chyna, group team: Where's Walley, boy: Pink Medallion Man and girl: Champagne Lady.

Other entrants included costumes of: Elvis, Caveman, Superman, an inmate, Morph, Pirot and Shaun the sheep.

Prizes were kindly donated by F.A. Holland and Son.

Dippers braving the cold for New Year's Day

Dippers braving the cold for New Year's Day

Mr Nye added: "The majority of funds collected this year at this event will be put towards the groups needed Rebuilding Fund hopefully to replace our well loved old building in Birdham, which has seen better days but still standing firm at present.

"The group has more than 75 young people attending each week and has waiting lists for beavers and the cub sections and is run voluntary by a team of dedicated trained leaders.

"If you think you could offer your support to us in any way please contact me on 01243673098 or email scoutweb@sky.com"

Dippers braving the cold for New Year's Day

Dippers braving the cold for New Year's Day