New Year's Day dippers plunge into 2020 at Fleetwood beach

Dippers braved the brisk waters at Fleetwood beach.
Dippers braved the brisk waters at Fleetwood beach.
Share this article

The after-effects of late night New Year's parties didn't stop this huge crowd yesterday, as around 200 people braved the biting waters of the Irish Sea in Fleetwood.

The traditional New Year's Day dip in Fleetwood has been run since 2007 by Fleetwood Kite Club, and continued since its closure last year by Phil Gibson, from Fleetwood.

Lydia Wynard and husband Darren took part in the dip to raise money for baby loss charities.

Lydia Wynard and husband Darren took part in the dip to raise money for baby loss charities.

In previous years the tide had seen the dippers getting up at the crack of dawn, but this year tide conditions warranted a later start of 1.30pm.

Mr Gibson believed the later tide encouraged more people to take part, and was delighted with the turnout.

He said: "This was the largest crowd I've ever seen, there were around 200 people in the sea and at least 500 supporters on the beach.

"It's a brilliant thing to do to bring the community together, and we had visitors from Stoke, Accrington, Manchester, and Rossendale taking part too."

A crowd of around 500 people cheer on the New Year's Day dippers.

A crowd of around 500 people cheer on the New Year's Day dippers.

Some swimmers joined in for fun, while others took the opportunity to raise money for charities close to their heart- many of whom donned fancy dress to brave the waters.

One Bispham woman has taken part in the dip for the past four years, to raise money for baby loss charities The Miscarriage Association and 4Louis.

Lydia Wynard, 38, a specialist manager at Booths in St. Annes, lost her baby daughter Anya in 2014 and since has raised money in her memory.

She said: "At the time when you lose a child you don't realise how important these charities are.

"My husband Darren and I will continue to take part in the New Year's Day dips in Fleetwood and fundraise throughout the year too."

A spokesman for charity 4Louis said: "4Louis want to thank Lydia and her family for everything they have done in memory of their daughter.

"The funds they have raised will supply memory boxes to families across the country who go through the trauma of losing a child, giving them the chance to create precious memories they may not have had such as clay imprints of babies hands and feet and many more."