NEWCASTLE swimmers had a surprise visitor to their daily dawn swim on Thursday morning when children’s TV star Timmy Mallett made a splash.
Timmy Mallet, the 80s Icon best known for his colourful glasses, loud shirts and giant pink foam mallet, joined a group of regular swimmers at 7am for their daily swim writes Laura Barr.
Newcastle woman, Stephanie Gribben was one of those lucky enough to see Timmy brave the elements in the Irish Sea along Newcastle’s promenade.
Speaking to Down News, Stephanie said: “A group of us go out most mornings at 7am for a bracing swim.
“I just started doing it during lockdown and now I am hooked.
“We didn’t know Timmy would be there, so it really was a nice surprise.
“To be honest, at first I thought I was dreaming, and it actually took me a few minutes to register who it was!
“His voice was the definite give-away and he was full of life and joking away with one of the other swimmers saying he was a ‘woose’ because he was shivering.”
Stephanie was joined by friends Gareth Toner, Allie Shaw, Brendan Totten and Emma McGovern for her swim.
Down News caught up with Timmy after his trip to the seaside town.
This was his first time in Newcastle which he said was a “beautiful spot under the mountains” and added: “I was visiting the lovely east Antrim coast and Portstewart strand on the world class causeway coast.
“My friend told me to go to Newcastle, and I did.
“I stayed at Cherryhill B&B and my hosts John and Patricia mentioned about the dawn dip.
“Patricia and I headed down to the harbour before 7am and it was absolutely brilliant.
“Another group of hardy swimmers turned up and joined us too.
“I loved visiting the town of Newcastle and The Copper Restaurant which served a delicious seafood chowder.
“We met lovely people with warm smiles in Newcastle.”
The children’s tv star posted on his Facebook page on Thursday morning saying: “Yay early morning swimmers in Newcastle.
“Ready for a dawn dip?! Into the Irish sea…Yay! Newcastle Co. Down.”
Later the same day Timmy explored the burial place of St Patrick in Downpatrick’s Down Cathedral.
And on Friday, Timmy stopped off in Ardglass for a couple of jars of mussels and some potted herrings.
Timmy was also disappointed to learn that he was not included on the Ardglass ‘Wall of Fame’.
Timmy certainly has a fondness for the County Down area and no doubt he will be back again to enjoy the beautiful landscape surrounding our area.