Nostalgia Monday DECEMBER 30 - Use 9 pic 300 word template

Text for Monday Spread on New year dips

Headline: How generations of brave swimmers have faced the icy waves in charity dips

Strapline: Pub regulars, rugby league players and a wheelchair user have beat the chill to raise cash for a wide variety of good causes in South Cumbria

GOING for a freezing dip has become a traditional way to raise funds for good causes and to mark the end of one year and the start of the next.

Morecambe Bay, Windermere, Walney Channel and the Irish Sea have all attracted groups of brave and hardy swimmers on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day through the decades.

This selection of pictures from The Mail's archive shows a few of those willing to make a big splash.

The Millom-based South Cumbria Sea Sports Association hosted its 21st consecutive dip on New Year's Day in 2007.

Millom mayor and mayoress, Irene Ashburner and Angela Hammond, came along to watch at the Port Haverigg lagoon as cash was raised for Millom First Responders and Haverigg Inshore Rescue Team.

The Mail, on Tuesday January 4 in 2000, noted: "A dip in Canal Foot in the midst of winter may not be everyone's idea of welcoming the millennium.

"But that did not stop staff and friends from the Cattle Market Inn from leaping into the icy waters on New Year's Day.

"About 10 people took the plunge to raise money for the Coniston Ward minibus appeal at Ulverston Hospital.

"This is the 10th year the pub has been involved in a new year dip.

"Eileen Smith was the only woman to do it this year and Cattle Market landlady Amanda Smith was there for support."

The Mail, on January 2 in 2003 recorded the bravery of rugby players and pub regulars from Barrow, Ulverston and Millom.

It noted: "At Earnse Bay, Walney, more than 20 players from Roose Pioneers Amateur Rugby League Club stripped off and rushed into the sea at 11am yesterday.

"The club's vice chairman Shaun McPoland said the event always proved a popular way to celebrate the new year."

Mr McPoland said: "The weather was a bit fresh but the water was lovely.

"The dip certainly woke a few of the players up after the night before.

"Last year we raised £700 for the club from the dip. This time round we hope top beat that total."

Eight people had braved the waves at Silecroft on New Year's Eve - including two women and wheelchair-user Brian Walker, of Devonshire Road.

The Mail noted: "Mr Walker, 57, was carried from his wheelchair across the pebbly sand down to the water's edge where he used his walking stick to steady himself before rolling face down in the icy water."

Mr Walker said: "I was dared to do this and I've raised £158 in sponsorship.

"It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be but I'm freezing now."

The Mail, on January 4 in 1999, recorded that a collie dog joined the swimmers at Silecroft for Cumbria Sea Sports Association - it was the last in and was sensibly the first out.

The regular swimmers from Roose Pioneers were joined in the tide at Earnse Bay, Walney, by members of the Furness Parent Diabetic Association.