Chills ‘n’ thrills! Get ready for 2015 New Year Swim

Causing a splash at last year's race!
Causing a splash at last year's race!

If you’re thinking of getting fit for 2015, then why not take the plunge? Literally!

You can put a date in your diary for the New Year Swim, which will take place at Lee Dam, Lumbutts, on Sunday, January 18.

The traditional icy plunge, which is organised by Todmorden Swimming Club and Todmorden Lions Club, is now into its sixth decade and invites swimmers to dip a toe and more into the icy waters, raising money for charity in the process. It is an important fundraiser for the club, which teaches learners to swim in addition to providing some gala competition, and the entry details have been released,

Before race day - there are races for men, women, boys and girls, who all try to reach a floating trophy first - entry rates are £4 for adults and £2 for under 17s.

Entry forms and sponsor forms will be available via Todmorden Swimming Club at Todmorden Sports Centre, Ewood Lane, or call one of the organising team, Debbie Lorimer, for details on 07513 123097 or 01706 819651.

You can also enter at Lee Dam on the day, when rates are slightly higher at £5 for adults and £2.50 for under 17s. You must get there to register at 1.30pm, ahead of the races’ start time of 2pm, and swimmers do have to sign a disclaimer, explained Debbie.

“After the swim there will be the chance to warm up at the nearby Top Brink Inn with some hot soup and rolls, and swimmers will also be presented with their certificates showing they’ve taken part,” said Debbie. “And when racing for the trophies in each category swimmers must wear ordinary swimming costumes and not wet suits, although fancy dress on top is welcome.”

Above all, said Debbie, the event is great fun, both for swimmers and spectators - who are welcome to line the banks and add their contribution to the day by cheering swimmers on - alike. Divers from Pennine Sub-Aqua and St John Ambulance volunteers are on hand and often other addition groups such as the scouts have helped out at the event on the day.

Lee Dam is the traditional venue for the race but it has had spells elsewhere, including the canal at Hebden Bridge, in its history.