Today, 25th May, marks our 4th birthday. Who knew that sunny Saturday in 2019 that we'd be here, four years later, still be having fun together, still welcoming new members in together - from dab hands to virgin bathers - still feeling joyous at the thought of our dips together. Four years ago there was a website, a dodgy-looking logo, monthly gatherings, 50 free branded hats on offer, a lot of flyers posted around town to create awareness, talks given at the WI about the benefits of sea bathing and lots of post-dip home-made cakes courtesy of Ralph (and Angie) and civilised cups of tea served on patios in real mugs. Four years ago, there were just a handful of avid dippers that would show up during the winter months....
And now? Well, we have an upgraded website, trips planned to the IOW, London and Kirkarrow (;), a nice-looking new logo, dozens of branded hoodies hot off the printing press (almost), a (very) busy Whatsapp group buzzing with activity, delight and daily pics of happy people and excitable chat about the prospect and accomplishment of longer swims, menopause, bromances and recycled swimsuits, swimming friends on the Thames, hoeing activities launched by members to get rid of seaside weeds, our very own homemade bunting, tons of friendships made, a community project on the go, tons of help given to each other, spin off groups of kayakers, cyclists and beach cleaners, more home-made cakes and many, many of you bathing all year round. Thank you to all of you who have made these things happen. In these four years, much of the country, too, has fallen in love with outdoor, cold-water bathing and swimming. Now, people understand what it's all about.
Things have changed for sure, yet the core of who we set out as, has remained the same. I sound like King Charles when I say this, but it does give me ENORMOUS pleasure to see what's unfolded and to see everyone having such fun, making deep friendships and getting so much benefit from this free pastime. To celebrate, we'll have a little dip and gathering beside the sea today, Thursday 25th May at the end of Lifeboat Way at 6pm, if you are able to make it. Bring a drink and toast to us, to you and to the sea. Thank you all for making this community what it is. It was created to aid loneliness and encourage people into making use of one of the four greatest elements on Earth - water.