‘Cold Lang Syne’ as dippers take to the sea!

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Around 90 brave fundraisers tackled icy waters to help raise thousands of pounds for charity in the annual New Year’s Day dip in Scarborough.

Thousands of spectators flocked to South Bay to catch a glimpse of the madcap event, in which gnomes, witches and superheroes dashed into the frosty North Sea to help raise vital funds for a range of charities.

New Years Day Dip 'Fun being had by all!'Picture by Neil Silk  130102q'01/01/13

New Years Day Dip 'Fun being had by all!'Picture by Neil Silk 130102q'01/01/13

The event has become a New Year tradition in Scarborough, with people travelling from far and wide to catch a glimpse and even to take part.

For 55-year-old John Nuttall, the event is a big part of his New Year.

He travels from Huddersfield to take part, spending three days in the town.

He said: “This year is the coldest it’s ever been - it’s freezing in there.

New Years Day Dip 'Team Kerry get ready for their dip!'Picture by Neil Silk  130102a'01/01/13

New Years Day Dip 'Team Kerry get ready for their dip!'Picture by Neil Silk 130102a'01/01/13

“It’s cold but it’s great fun. I will keep doing it until I have a heart attack!”

Among those closer to home taking the plunge was 42-year-old Lauren Dodd, from Cayton.

She was inspired to take part in the dip with her daughter Lauren, six, after her nine-year-old son Jake took part last year.

“We were the last people out of the water. I loved it!”

New Years Day Dip 'A beach babe enjoying the sunshine.'Picture by Neil Silk  130102f'01/01/13

New Years Day Dip 'A beach babe enjoying the sunshine.'Picture by Neil Silk 130102f'01/01/13

She said: “The water was freezing - I just imagined I was somewhere like Jamaica!”

The family were voted the best dressed group by Scarborough Mayor Helen Mallory, who dished out three awards prior to the plunge.

And Cllr Mallory praised the community for coming out in droves to help support the event.

She said: “What a fantastic day, the weather has been brilliant and it’s great to see so many people supporting it.

“The whole event is fantastic and it shows what spirit people have in Scarborough, and it also shows what a fantastic job the Scarborough Lions do in organising it.”

The event is expected to raise a few thousand pounds for charity. But Gareth Jones from the Scarborough Lions said: “It’s not really a case of raising money, its more of a community event.

“The Lions have 25 per cent of the money raised and all the rest of the money goes to (the participants) dedicated charities.

“But we are looking to get more volunteers next year’, adding that they would like to pass 100 participants in 2014.

For further coverage and pictures, pick up a copy of The Scarborough News on Thursday.