Bacton’s New Year’s Day dippers were no chickens

Annual New Year's Day dip at the Poacher's Pocket pub in Bacton raising money for Macmillan Cancer S

Annual New Year's Day dip at the Poacher's Pocket pub in Bacton raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A motley crew of daring dippers decided there was no better way to start 2016 than by hurling themselves into the freezing North Sea.

A pink fairy, pharaoh, nurse, Ali G, a surfer half eaten by a shark, Santa Claus, and a real priest were among the 20-plus who lined up on the beach at Bacton today to take the plunge.

The annual dip, organised by the Poacher's Pocket in the seaside village, was the swansong event in the motel's year of fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support.

And delighted Poacher's landlord Gary Stubbs is confident that once the sponsored dip monies have been handed over, they will bring the total raised for the charity to about £11,000.

'We've been doing this for the 21 years I've been here and for the past three years we've been doing it for charity,' said Mr Stubbs, 55, who chose a frilly pink tutu, wings and a wand as his bathing costume.

He was accompanied into the briny by four fellow members of the Poacher's twice-weekly zumba class, Tracy Aish, Lizzy Cane, Jo Howard and Nicola Bayless.

'The support we've had from people has been so good - so many people have helped,' Mr Stubbs added.

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This year's oldest dipper was 78-year-old retired priest Eiler Mellerup, , from Walcott, curate for the Coastal Group of Parishes.

'I sometimes swim in winter - it's fun, and this was for a very good cause,' said Rev Mellerup.

Mr Stubbs' wife Caroline, 51, and bar manager Brenda Cowan, 59, had their heads shaved on Christmas Eve for the appeal, raising £5,300 between them.

Mr and Mrs Stubbs were also sponsored to take part in the Bacton Fun Run in July, grappling with an assault course while being pelted with flour and eggs by spectators.

A race night in September, an Evening with Mr Grey event in August, a zumba marathon and musical nights have also contributed to the final total.