Waving goodbye to 2005 and all that

Swimmers braved the chilly North Sea yesterday for a traditional New Year's Day dip.

Swimmers braved the chilly North Sea yesterday for a traditional New Year's Day dip.

More than 40 daring dippers took the plunge at Whitley Bay shortly after 11am in a tradition which dates back more than 100 years.

The event is organised by the Panama Swimming Club, which this year was raising money for its own funds.

Club secretary Ali Glennie [corr], 51, of Cullercoats - a learning mentor at Newcastle College - was among those racing into the icy waves.

She said: "I have done it many times before and, although it was a little milder than usual this time round, the waves were quite a bit bigger."

Bank clerk Vivienne [corr] Miller, 48, of Whitley Bay, was taking part for the first time. She said: "It's absolutely freezing, but over in seconds. I'm glad I did it, but I think this might be my one-and-only time."

Newcastle University research manager Seamus O'Neill, 39, of Snows Green Road[corr], Shotley Bridge, County Durham, was also a first-timer.

He said: "It is a ridiculous way to start the New Year and things can only get less ridiculous from here on. It's certainly a good way to get rid of a hangover."

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer