ABOUT 80 hardy souls – all wearing fancy dress – celebrated the New Year by taking a dip in the sea at Scarborough.

The traditional plunge on the South Bay beach, organised by Scarborough Lions Club, was blessed by glorious sunshine yesterday, and temperatures soared to a heady 6C.

Lions spokesman Alan Deacon said: “It’s been absolutely beautiful.

“The number taking part has doubled from last year.

“There are people who have come from as far away as Edinburgh and Dorset. The fancy dress ranged from Superwoman to a witch.”

Mr Deacon estimated a crowd of about 2,000 onlookers had gathered on the beach to watch the spectacle.

Sponsorship and bucket collections looked set to raise at least £1,500. Three-quarters of that will go to each individual’s chosen charity and the remaining quarter helps the Lions’ charities for the year.