Bewdley streets packed for annual duck race

Kidderminster Shuttle: PRIZE WINNER: Best dressed duck winner Cameron Henry with mother Lorraine Henry and Mayor Linda Candlin, right. Picture: Colin Hill PRIZE WINNER: Best dressed duck winner Cameron Henry with mother Lorraine Henry and Mayor Linda Candlin, right. Picture: Colin Hill

THOUSANDS of people lined the river at Bewdley as the town went quackers for the rescheduled annual duck race.

For the second year in a row, revellers had to wait until Easter Monday to drop their ducks into the River Severn after the traditional New Year's Day event was postponed due to dangerous water conditions.

The success of Monday's race, however, which saw more than 900 ducks thrown from the bridge and about 3,000 people line both side of the river, has given organisers - Kidderminster and District Lions Club - a headache for organising next year's event, with one member Colin Hill admitting it could possibly be moved to Easter Monday again.

The race's winning duck belonged to Bewdley resident Dan Power and the best-dressed duck award, decided by town Mayor Linda Candlin, was handed to four-year-old Cameron Henry, whose one-foot duck was decorated with with yellow tissue and feathers.

His mother, Lorraine Henry, said: "He put a lot of time and effort into it. It was a great day and fantastic to see so many people out in Bewdley. Cameron was thrilled when he won and although he was a little shy, loved meeting the mayor, who was lovely to him. He hasn't stopped smiling since."

The event is set to raise more than £2,000, which will go to the Lions' charities throughout the year.

Mr Hill added: "Both sides of the river were lined from the bridge down, I have never seen that before. In fact I have never seen that many people there before. It was wonderful weather and a wonderful atmosphere - the best duck race we have had yet.

"We're hoping to go back to new year next year but it's not been decided yet and it's very possible we could go with Easter again."

The town's first duck race took place in 1985 and has grown in popularity ever since, attracting many visitors as well as its residents.

Participants were able to rent a duck on the day or enter a home-made swimmer made of feathers, plastic or wood.

Ducks are plunged into the water from the bridge and the winner is the first to cross the finish line.

Other organisations helping out on the day included Wyre Forest Canoe Club, which collects the ducks, Bewdley Rotary Club, which help with road closures and the Severn Area Rescue Association.

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