Fancy dress dippers in Leeds get fit for New Year

Zoe Parker gets ready to splash out in her mermaid outfit. PIC: Steve Riding
Zoe Parker gets ready to splash out in her mermaid outfit. PIC: Steve Riding
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SWIMMERS dressed as superheroes, mermaids and Star Wars characters took the plunge to celebrate a healthy start to the New Year.

Around 90 people in fancy dress costumes leapt into Bramley Baths in a quirky tradition which is now in its third year.

Babies and people in their 80s joined in the community event.

It began to mark the first day of the baths becoming a community-led enterprise following a successful campaign to take over the facility in the face of council cuts.

Those taking part included Clarice Wokes as a ukelele-playing Wonder Woman and Zoe Parker, a volunteer at the baths who dressed as a mermaid.

Many of those who took part hail from Bramley but there were some family members from further afield.

Courtney Harrison, acting manager at Bramley Baths, said: “The Big Dip is a great way to get into exercise through something really fun. January’s traditionally a time when people start to think about getting healthier again, but we want to make sure that exercise becomes an enjoyable regular habit rather than a four-week fad, which is why this year we’re inviting people to call in after the Big Dip for a health check so we can match them up to the sorts of activities they will look forward to.”

Tracy Basu, chief executive of Bramley Baths, said: “This is my first Big Dip as chief executive here and it’s a brilliant demonstration of why places like the Baths are so important for bringing people together, reminding us all that there’s plenty to be hopeful about and that by pooling our skills and talents we can make amazing things happen in cities like Leeds. We wish the Yorkshire Evening Post and all your readers a superb year and thank you for supporting communities and organisations like ours to keep striving to do better by everyone.”

The baths, in Broad Lane, opens seven days a week.

Information at or telephone 0113 214 6000.