Dippers to make less of a splash

The 2011 Boxing Day Dip at Seaton Carew.
The 2011 Boxing Day Dip at Seaton Carew.

ORGANISERS of Hartlepool’s Boxing Day Dip say December’s event is expected to raise £18,000 for charity – despite disappointing numbers.

The number of dippers taking part was the lowest in 12 years, with 267 festive fundraisers taking a splash in the North Sea. As a result, the total raised is likely to be down £10,000 on the previous year.

Hartlepool Lions, which bowed out of holding the event after 40 years, posted the disappointing figures after holding its annual post dip meeting.

Lions’ president Mike Dowson said: “While we hoped for a roaring success, the event did not live up to expectations with only 267 dippers going into the sea.

“This is the lowest number for 12 years, on what must have been one of the mildest days for many years.

“Based on previous dips, the estimated total raised should be around £18,000, which is £10,000 less than the previous year.

“This means that fewer charities will benefit and the Lions will have less money to hand out to local deserving causes.”

Mr Dowson said they were also disappointed that a number of dippers who had not officially registered went into the sea.

This year’s dip took place from the Staincliffe Hotel instead of Seaton Carew Social Club which was being refurbished.

Collections on the beach raised £289 from crowds who lined the promenade.

Mr Dowson said that despite the extra work it had been an “enjoyable event” and thanked all the organisations that supported the day, including the St John Ambulance, RNLI, Coastguards, Hartlepool TA, Radio Hartlepool, pipers and police and Hartlepool Borough Council.

Hartlepool Round Table, which helped on the day, will organise and run future dips.

The Lions have decided to bow out of the annual Boxing Day Dip due to falling number of its members.

Mr Dowson also paid tribute fellow members, past and present, in particular to founder Lions’ member John Teasdale and Norman Hope, who was dip organiser for 36 years in a row.

Trophies for the most outstanding dippers will be handed out at a presentation night at the Staincliffe Hotel on Monday, March 26.