I first saw the Christmas Morning Swim in 1973. My two year old son was upset that Father Christmas (Bobby Burge) went into the sea with his socks on.
I decided that the event was special and I would like to take part. At my first Swim Lindsey Morgan covered me in grease before entering the water but I have managed without it since.
The programme for many years was a simple folded up sheet of paper. I wore a wetsuit and mask and was billed as ‘The Monster’. There was a parade of the swimmers, starting off at Maisie and Arlon Owens’s Sospan Fach café in John Street. I would load my mother and Mrs Jackson onto Jimmy Theodore’s float and we all set off for Coney Beach, calling at the Glamorgan Holiday Home on the way.
The changing room was in the Manor Suite. The swim was heralded with a bugle call by Reverend Sedgemore. There would be thirty or forty swimmers. Some years later the Pen-y-Don Brass Band, which included two of my sons, led carol swimming before the start of the Swim. It is truly amazing how the Swim has grown.
Last year I completed my 30th Swim and was accompanied by my children, grandchildren, four other members of their family and over a thousand swimmers. I can only remember one accident. David Best was raising his arm for the crawl when it was hit by a wave that dislocated his shoulder.
I would like to thank the Committee for all the hard work they put into the organisation, for the many thousands of pounds they have raised for local charities and for the pleasure they give to swimmers and spectators alike.
Long may the Christmas Morning Swim continue!
Dr David Parry MBE