TENBY’s famous Boxing Day Swim has reluctantly put its 50th anniversary event on hold – but a replacement celebration may be making waves in the new year.

A Tenby May Day Dip is now being planned – Covid restrictions permitting - to ensure that the legendary plunge still marks its golden birthday in style.

From small beginnings, the Tenby Boxing Day Swim has snowballed into one of Britain’s top festive highlights.

Last Christmas, a record-breaking shoal of nearly 800 brave bathers took to the water.

And although the festive fundraisers will be officially denied their Boxing Day fun this year, event organisers, Tenby Sea Swimming Association (TSSA), have come up with a fall-back plan.

“We are, of course, dismayed that Tenby Boxing Day Swim’s 50th anniversary has hit the coronavirus sand, like so many other events this year,” said TSSA chairman Chris Osborne.

“We understand the frustration at the dearth of events, so we are trying to show a positive approach and – at the same time – preserve this famous and much-loved occasion.

“Amazingly, the swim has never been cancelled, so we’d like to ensure its continuation, hopefully for the next 50 years.

“So, subject to safety issues allowing, we are moving to a one-off May Day Dip, to take the place of our normal Boxing Day Swim.”

The idea of the spring event has been sparked by recollections of Tenby’s long-gone Dunking Day, when locals resumed sea swimming on May 1 to get the holiday season underway.

Entry to the event will be £10 and participants will be able to enter online, with their medals being posted out after they have taken part.

Added Chris: “All the money from entry fees and individual swimmers’ sponsorship will go to this swim’s sole beneficiary, Tenby RNLI, which has experienced one of its very busiest summers.

“So we hope our special efforts for this unusual event are rewarded with a truly impressive financial result.

“The online box office will open from the beginning of April – but not the first day of that month – once we’re absolutely sure we can run the event with total safety for everyone involved.”

Keep up to date with the plans via www.tenbyboxingdayswim.co.uk and Tenby Boxing Day Swim on Facebook.