Canoeists brave the cold for Boxing Day plunge

Boxing Day kayaking.  Picture by Mick Child.
Boxing Day kayaking. Picture by Mick Child.

For the last 50 years canoeists have gathered at Duckmill Weir in Bedford for the Boxing Day Roll.

At 11.30am sharp around 40 canoeists braved the cold and performed an Eskimo roll – deliberately tipping themselves upside down then righting themselves with their paddle.

Nick Taylor from the Viking Kayak Club said: “It does sound silly but it’s fun to get together with old friends and new.

“I’ve been coming since 1977 – it’s the one day of the year when I’m sure to see my old canoeing buddies”

The tradition began all those years ago when a young boy who had been given a kayak for Christmas went canoeing for the first time.

Copper Harper and Ian Ruse were there that day and were on the bank this year to watch and give the countdown to the big moment.

“It’s great to see so many paddlers out today,” said Copper. “It looks like the tradition is safe for the next 50 years”