Fun and frolics in the water at traditional Ilkley and Otley events

First published in Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Brave swimmers took to the waters in Ilkley and Otley to welcome in the New Year with a traditional dip.

The chilly temperatures and rapid current failed to put off about 27 people taking part in the annual Otley dip at about 12 noon.

Hundreds of spectators watched from the banks of the River Wharfe as participants stripped to their swimming costumes for a ten metre paddle.

The event was held in memory of Joe Town, a former life-saver teacher, from Yeadon who had organised the event for more than 25 years.

It also collected money in aid of The Camphill Family charity which helps vulnerable adults.

Meanwhile in Ilkley hardy swimmers enjoyed what some described afterwards an “invigorating and refreshing” experience in the historic spa of White Wells.

Since 1995, people have been queuing up to take a New Year’s Day dip in the 8ft by 6ft stone bath, where the temperature is estimated at seven degrees centigrade.

Mark Hunnebell, who runs the White Wells, is expecting more than its 167 attendance last year. The event is running until 5pm this afternoon.

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