ARUN Divers have excelled themselves this year with £3,500 raised for their chosen charity (Gazette, February 16) – brilliant boys and girls, just brilliant.
It is interesting to note that many of the new jumpers are the siblings of the old boys! It’s good to see them go along with what is now thought of as tradition. In the beginning, the leap for the Penlee Disaster collected £400, which was taken down to the West Country the next day by Tom Pidd and, I believe, Taff Roberts, both local skippers, who gave the money to the families. It seemed a good idea that it has continued through the years, with the benefit felt by many local causes, contributing to an ambulance for the Arundel Red Cross, equipment for St John Ambulance and Worthing Hospital physio department – the head of the department stepped off the edge with us, shaking like a leaf. Councillor Dr James Walsh took the plunge one year.
The leapers still have to stand on the edge of the bridge and to look down the 25/30ft to the water – you have time to think on the way down and then you are in! It is cold!
The Arun View plays its part – the leapers go back to the public bar frozen stiff, wondering why they did it, and the bar is awash with cold river water. There they are met with hot soup, all supplied by their hosts.
Margaret Hancock, the owner of the Arun View, could not have realised what she started in those early days of the leap. Now it is down to Paul Crease and his team at the Arun View – well done them all.
Last of all, we must think of those who come out to support the cause. It must be community spirit, they are the ones who swell the “take” to the £3,500 mark. Littlehampton has that spirit.
Former member of Arun Divers
Saxon Close, East Preston