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1st in at South Queensferry for Loony Dooker from Bo'ness

(posted by webmaster, 1 Jan 2006, 14:35)
Paul FairholmPaul Fairholm (16) from Bo'ness was first to take the plunge in the annual Ne'er Day Loony Dook at South Queensferry.

20th Year

The charity event, now in its 20th year, has seen its popularity grow over the years, despite the requirement of participants to take a dip in the freezing waters of the Forth on Ne'er Day.

Piped down to the waters edgePiped down from 'The Moorings'

Both participants and spectators enjoyed the pleasure of being piped down form the registration post to the waters edge by the pipe band.

Being one of the first to arrive and register, Paul was able to ensure that with his youthful exuberance he was able to maintain pole position and be the first Loony Dooker of 2006.

Paul Fairholm leading the way in the Annual Loony Dook
Paul leading the way to be first in!

There was the usual carnival atmosphere in the town with many local shops and pubs open in support of this annual charity event.

Not just through stupidity or for fun..

Fundraising for BLESMAPaul's participation was not just for fun, however, as he was raising funds for a good cause—the British Limbless Ex-Serviceman's Association (BLESMA).

Paul's support stems from his active membership of the '23' Troupe Army Cadets, based at Macdonald Road, Edinburgh, swimming and his interest in diving which he does with Dive Safari Scotland.

Represented Army Cadets Scotland

His interest in sport doesn't stop there as he plays rugby for Leith Academy and has represented Army Cadets Scotland at swimming. At the national championships held at Aldershot last October, as part of the relay team, he took silver.

Support and encouragement

Wee brother Angus was there to give him moral support and Wee brother Angusencouragement as was mum & dad, Gail and Giles Fairholm.

The family having moved to Bo'ness from Edinburgh in the last couple of years had only a short trip to make to South Queensferry and with Paul showing the way perhaps we might see this as an annual trip to include more of the family next year (watch this space).

Hands full with Burgh Building

Until then and for the forseeable future, however, both Giles and Gail will have all their hands full. They have moved into and are renovating the old Burgh Building at Seaview Place, at the foot of Church Wynd, Bo'ness with the intention of returning it, as far is possible, to its former glory.

Interest & participation from far and wide

The organisers had been suprprised by the level of interest shown in this year's event with one tour operator proposing to bringing 150 Australian holidaymakers in six mini-buses.

The assembled crowd with Forth Bridge in background

Also, FirstBus layed on a special bus from Waterloo Place in Edinburgh specifically in support of the event which boosted those taking the plunge to in excess of the 300 originally expected.

Sponsored by 'Old Pulteney'

The RNLI keep a watchful eye on Paul and the other Dookers with Forth Bridge in backgroundThere's was a welcome and added incentive for everyone who registered at The Moorings as thanks to sponsorship from Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky, all the participants received a miniature and a T-shirt, with a hot toddy and soup to be had at The Moorings afterwards.

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