Hunstanton Christmas swim organisers plead for donation nominations

The Christmas Day swim at Hunstanton. All the swimmers assemble prior to the swim. ANL-141225-131012009
The Christmas Day swim at Hunstanton. All the swimmers assemble prior to the swim. ANL-141225-131012009

Organisers of Hunstanton’s annual Christmas Day swim have urged residents to come forward if they know of any good causes that could benefit from its proceeds.

Around 140 fundraisers took part in the traditional festive dip in the sea, which is organised by the resort’s Round Table group, while up to 2,000 spectators are estimated to have watched the event from the shore.

The Christmas Day swim at Hunstanton. A cheery wave from the Mayor of Hunstanton Cllr Carol Bower. ANL-141225-131336009

The Christmas Day swim at Hunstanton. A cheery wave from the Mayor of Hunstanton Cllr Carol Bower. ANL-141225-131336009

Officials hope the event will raise around £4,000 for local charities and group chairman Chris Stafford was delighted with what he described as a “fantastic” turnout.

He said: “It’s not a record year but it’s certainly not a bad year. The weather was good and the tide was right up to the wall so we didn’t have to walk very far.”

However, Mr Stafford has also appealed for individuals and community groups to come forward and tell them who should benefit from the money raised by the swimmers.

He said: “We’re really struggling to give money away.

The Christmas Day swim at Hunstanton. ANL-141225-131509009

The Christmas Day swim at Hunstanton. ANL-141225-131509009

“We do it on a request basis, so people write in with any cases they feel are worthy and we review it as a committee, but we’re struggling to get people to write in.”

Among those braving the sea this year was the town’s mayor, Carol Bower, who said: “It was fantastic. It was so crowded it was difficult to get off the beach.

“I think the Round Table did extremely well. It was very well organised.”

As well as taking part in the swim herself, Mrs Bower was also called upon to judge the best fancy dress costume worn by the swimmers.

The Christmas Day swim at Hunstanton. Bob Pritchard from Heacham took part in his 33rd swim. This year carrying his dog Blaze. ANL-141225-131653009

The Christmas Day swim at Hunstanton. Bob Pritchard from Heacham took part in his 33rd swim. This year carrying his dog Blaze. ANL-141225-131653009

While there were plenty of seasonally-themed costumes competing for attention, a group with costumes inspired by the Tetris computer game and a swimmer dressed as Hunstanton’s cliffs won the prizes.

Mrs Bower said: “She had the lighthouse on her head, the cliffs on her body and the beach on her feet.”

Anyone who would like to nominate a cause to benefit from the proceeds of the swim can do so via the Round Table’s website, www.hunstantonroundtable.com.

Participants are also reminded that sponsorship money raised should be sent to the Heacham Manor Hotel by the end of January at the latest.