Charity chairman hails Hartlepool’s ‘phenomenal’ Boxing Day Dip

James Black of Hartlepool Round Table taking part in the  Boxing Day dip event at Seaton Carew. Picture by Tom  Collins
James Black of Hartlepool Round Table taking part in the Boxing Day dip event at Seaton Carew. Picture by Tom Collins

The chairman of a Hartlepool charity has praised the fantastic people of the town after the success of a popular annual event.

James Black thanked town residents for making his first Boxing Day dip a phenomenal one.

Participants at the Boxing Day dip event. Picture by Tom  Collins

Participants at the Boxing Day dip event. Picture by Tom Collins

James experienced the thrill of entering the waves at Seaton Carew for charity for the very first time, and said it was “fantastic.”

It was a day of double duties for James who was also there in his capacity as chairman of the event organisers, the Hartlepool branch of Round Table.

He was at the front of the parade from the start point at the Staincliffe Hotel, as it wound its way to the beach.

And with hundreds of participants following close behind, James then made a dash for the waves and admitted: “It was very cold but the worst bit was the walk back up the beach.

I have never done this before in my life but it was fantastic

James Black, Round Table chairman

“I was warm while the adrenaline was pumping but you soon come down and then it’s cold.”

But James, like the 280 other dippers, did themselves proud by raising thousands of pounds for charity.

Finals totals are still being added up but James estimates he has raised around £500 himself.

He added: “I was submerged in the sea and the numbers of people coming up behind me were phenomenal. They just kept coming. Just when you thought they had stopped, more would follow behind. It was amazing.”

He also praised the hundreds of people who turned out to watch, even though it was raining.

“It was pouring but we still got the same numbers of supporters as we did in previous years,” said James. “I want to say a big thanks to everyone who gave their support.”

He also praised members of the Boundary 500 Motor Cycle group who gave their support.

The riders of Harley Davidsons came along for the day with one of them even leading the parade and then taking part in the dip.

James added: “The weather was freezing cold, but the whole day was better than I could have expected.”

The £5 cost of registering for the event went towards emergency services, local charities and the running of the event.

After that, 100% of the money that people raised went to their chosen charity or causes.