Taking the plunge for Welwyn Garden City hospice

FOR many friends and families, it’s tradition to head over to the local pub for a festive pint on Christmas or Boxing Day.

And like many village locals, The Waggon & Horses in Watton-at-Stone will be welcoming merry well wishers through its doors.

But regulars at the 16th-century High Street inn, like so many others around Times Territory, are also keen to help others.

Landlord Mitch Brummit’s pub will host a charity fundraiser today, in aid of Isabel Hospice, based in WGC.

The fundraiser’s main event is the “Whitby Dip” inspired by the traditional Boxing Day event in Whitby, Yorkshire, where locals take an icy plunge in the North Sea for charity.


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The Waggon & Horses will have a 3ft deep pool for any brave souls who fancy a swim on the day after Christmas.

It is the idea of pub regulars Jen and Hugh “Lofty” Houston, who hail from the historic North East fishing port, and brought the tradition with them when they moved to Watton-at-Stone six years ago.

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Lofty has been a “dipper” for more than 35 years, raising money for various good causes over that period. This year they are raising money for the WGC hospice, in memory of friend Grant Stock, who died of cancer three years ago.

“The dip still goes on in Whitby every year,” said Jen. “But we can’t get up there as much nowadays, so we decided to do it in Watton-at-Stone.

“Lofty goes in every year. It’s looking like it’s going very chilly this time!”

Call 01920 830830 for info.

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