March 10 2014 Latest news:
Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
A dozen daredevil dippers doused themselves in a freezing North Sea at Bacton as a body-shocking start to 2014.
The lunchtime beach charge into the briny was led by Gary Stubbs, dressed in very little except a snapping soft-toy crocodile protecting his modesty.
Mr Stubbs, 53, was followed by a motley crew including two penguins, Superman, a man wearing bra and pants and assorted members of the pub’s zumba class.
The annual New Year’s Day event is organised by the seaside village’s Poacher’s Pocket pub where Mr Stubbs and his wife Caroline are landlords.
It was a chance for the neighbouring communities of Bacton and Walcott to forget their recent troubles for a short time and enjoy the wild North Sea after the misery of December 5 when a storm surge brought its waves crashing through Walcott, flooding many homes.
Wrapped-up spectators stood on the shore and cheered on the bathers who stripped off despite persistent rain and a strong wind.
This year’s event has already raised more than £3,000 for North Norfolk Radio’s Kids Trust which helps under-privileged local children.
The event has been running since 1996 when Mr Stubbs took over the pub but last year’s dip was the first for charity. It raised £5,520 for the Priscilla Bacon Lodge, in Norwich, which had helped care for Mr Stubbs’ late father.
“It’s just a good laugh and a bit of fun for everyone,” said Mr Stubbs.
“Next year we will use it to raise money for our local flood victims.”
As usual, coastguards from Happisburgh and Mundesley were on hand to make sure everyone emerged safely from the sea.