Hatherleigh Walruses 20th anniversary, New Year's Day 2007 //-->
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Page updated: January 6, 2007

Hatherleigh Walruses 2007

The 20th anniversary Walrus dip into the River Lew at the Bridge saw nearly 100 people dress up in costumes based on the themes of the 20 previous years.

Organiser Sandra Collier said that over £45,000 had been raised for the town during the 20 years.

A poem written by Andy Bennett, telling the full story, was read out. Each verse is shown below as a caption under the relevant photo.

Sandra told us later that a DVD with film clips of every Walrus dip they can find (all but two apparently) will be available at the end of January. It's to be called 'Walruses: the First 20 Years' or similar.

Sandra is taking orders now on 01837 810042.

(PS: sorry about the rain spots on the lens. Shows it was happening in real time!)


The preamble ... first walk to Island Park

'Twas a dark and stormy afternoon ...

Ooops!. Design flaw!

Just before the masses arrived!
Next, present each year's theme to the audience

Sandra Collier starts the commentary, accompanied by a bus driver poet a.k.a. Andy Bennett. These are his words below ...

On New Years Eve, 1987, this madness began,
If any-one was sceptical, this wasn`t a scam,
The first herd of Walruses, jumped into the river,
& for the doctors surgery, they all caught a shiver!
Good business!!

(We missed 1988, sorry, but we heard Michelle didn't tarry very long so perhaps we can be forgiven! Here's a detail from the procession to the site (see also above). If you have a better picture please email it and we'll publish it here, with a credit to you.)

12 months and a day, soon came around,
& for the playgroup that year, we raised more than a pound,
Fancy dress was introduced, but no theme was chosen,
But with wet-suit's a No, No, it left us all frozen

In fancy Tutu`s, that their wives had to make,
The men all performed, to the tune of Swan Lake,
They pranced and they danced, like no others before,
To pay for new tennis courts, cos the old ones were poor

. A year down the line, and the band were in need,
Of new instruments to play, in order to succeed,
So fancy dress was chosen, for every last Walrus,
And quite aptly the theme, was of course the Frog Chorus
.In 92, the school, were desperate for cash,
And so they were chosen, to join in our splash,
Of course, for the theme, there was no hesitation,
But some of our St Trinians, bordered on pure desperation
In 93, when we jumped in, there was no real purpose,
And the building of the by-pass, wasn`t going to stop us,
A collection on the river-bank, was more than enough,
To provide toys for the play area, that had become quite rough.
In 1994, the circus came to town,
What a laugh we all had, at the expense of the clown,
Two grand was raised, for life saving equipment,
A brand new defribulator arrived, with the next medical shipment.
For those that were late, or didn`t arrive, T
here were Cowboys & Indians, in 1995,
The Wild, Wild West, was played out that year,
To loud applause, and many a cheer.
Captain Pugwash, and his merry troup,
Was enacted this year, By the Walruses and playgroup,
With frivolity and adventure, top of the list,
We went off to the pub, and duly got ……..intoxicated!!!!

1997 ... oh, it's me!!!

Jack Frost did his best, to scupper our plans,
To jump into the river, in front of all of our fans,
The ice had to be broken, so that the dip could take place,
But to be first into the river, there wasn`t a race,
The nursery rhymes made us feel better, about going in that day,
To provide the cricket club and school, with new equipment to play.

(The narrator himself represented this year. He was the driver of Bus 123 and the writer of the poem. Back)

By 98, the Walruses, were already 11 years old,
A boom time this year, or so I was told,
The gold rush had caused panic, in the hunt for gold,
And panning in the river, was bitterly cold.

In 99, the theme was, the one and only Dad`s Army,
Jumping in the river, they must have all been barmy,
The value of the money raised, never diminished,
If you look over your shoulders, you`ll see the hall`s just been finished.

In the year 2000, we remembered our Saxon roots,
With clothes made of fur, and cloth sacks for boots,
And the millenium was celebrated, in tremendous style,
The talk of the town, and for many a mile.

The Olympics were re-created, in 2001,
No sooner here, than they were already gone,
But the rain that fell, forced us to clamber through brambles,
And everybody swam, in the relief channel.

02 was for the community, and not just our town,
Okehampton needed a new hospital, before the old one fell down,
The theme again easy, many fantasies came true,
Doctors and Nurses, but I caught the flu.
In 2003, our thunder, was quite literally stolen,
By the storms of the night, that had left the river swollen,
Our Australians, of course, had never seen rain quite like it,
And what of our beneficiaries? We were all in the sh….poo!!!
But the day was saved, by Hatherleigh`s finest,
And the Fire Brigade soaked us, it was by far the coldest!
A fine tale was told, in 2004,
When Robin Hood stole from the rich, and gave to the poor,
The revenue that was raised, paid for more Christmas lights,
& helped the Brownies, Guides & Rainbows, enjoy their special nights

How do you solve a problem like ... being in two pictures at once?

Easy, just look both ways! (See also here)
. The hills were alive with the sound of music, in 2005,
A scene to behold, for those that watched it live!
A performance of which, Hatherleigh Players would have been proud,
A fine spectacle indeed, for the very large crowd.
2006, was the tale of the Wiere Rabbit,
Where jumping in for many, had now become habit,
The standard of the costumes, rose to a new high,
Along with the sponsorship, no word of a lie.
Then, all jump in the River

Last one in's a cissy!

First one in's a bus driver

Well, at least half went in!

If you think this is easy, you try it!

Do you come here often?

Still two more minutes ... sorry!

Let me out!
Finally, it's time to dry off and warm up

Has anyone seen my bus?

It's here ... though not for long!
Shot of the Day?

Beauty ... and the Beast?


Well done Walruses: if you'd like any of these shots printed up, let us know. All profits to your funds.


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