PERFECT conditions welcomed more than 1000 entrants when they took part in this year’s Loony Dook event at Queensferry on New Year’s Day.
Blue sky, sun and a calm sea, with a temperature around eight degrees, looked inviting for the entrants of all nationalities as they poured into the Forth on Tuesday afternoon.
Queensferry saw probably its busiest day of the year as thousands of spectators lined the streets, harbour area and foreshore to catch a glimpse of the world-famous spectacle which this year was celebrating its 27th anniversary.
Entrants in fancy dress had lined the Hawes Promenade from early on as they awaited the tide to come in.
And by 1.30pm the scene was set with the local RNLI in the water waiting for the ’dookers’ to enter via the town’s Boathouse Steps.
Leading the procession were the Beastie Drummers followed by local man Iain Armstrong, with his huge tartan ‘bunnet’ – pictured far right.
There then followed dookers dressed as up as penguins, Vikings, the Royal family, Santa and many other disguises.
Frances Sutton, a spokeswoman for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Loony Dook organisers, said: “The Dookers came in all shapes and sizes, and all manner of costumes, from Fred Flintstone and Darth Vader, to bikini-clad hula girls and even The Queen. It was, as always, a brilliant event and we are delighted to be able to support Queensferry RNLI.”
Queensferry man David Steel, who, up until two years ago, helped to co-ordinate the local event and is still involved, added: “I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of what was the biggest and best Loony Dook yet which celebrated 27 continuous years.
‘‘Thanks go to Unique Events whose team do a fantastic job, City of Edinburgh Council, Lothian and Borders Police, Inspector John Cooper, G4S for stewarding, the Red Cross, Queensferry RNLI, Heinz for providing soup and to all those who took part and those who turned out to show their support for the Dookers.”
Mr Steel continued: “All the arrangements for the Hawes, High Street, Boathouse Steps and the foreshore were fine given the huge numbers of people but I believe there may have been issues concerning parking and traffic management in the surrounding area.
‘‘There will be a formal debriefing at which any such issues will be addressed. If anyone has any constructive comments to make which will help with the planning for the 2014 event please pass these on.”
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