This year (2014) the Bewdley Duck Race was held on April 21st rather than on New Year’s Day. This is the second consecutive year that the event has had to be moved because of flooding. I personally prefer the Easter date for the race as the weather is better and somehow yellow ducks seem suited to the Easter holidays.
As usual the Rotary Club organised the Duck Race. A small fee is charged to enter the race. Naturally, monies collected are given to charity. It is for a worthwhile cause and also something of a spectacle. Seeing the bridge filled with people, arms raised poised to throw in their plastic yellow ducks is quite a sight. The river is full of kayaks manned by volunteers who follow the ducks down the river and collect them once they have crossed the finishing line.
The actual race is from the bridge to the end of lax lane. There is one steward who stands at the finishing line. He in collaboration with a couple of people in kayaks decide which duck crossed the finished line first.
During the brief race the public announcement system played a couple of ABBA tunes. Ducks have nothing to do with Dancing Queens but the incongruity didn’t ruin the fun.
When I was in my 20s the annual Bewdley Duck Race was slightly different. In those days people had the option to make their own duck. This gave a more picturesque element to the race and allowed for more originality and creativity.
It was great to show my daughter the race this year. She is a precocious three years old and understood something of what was going on. She enjoyed making the video you can see above as much as the actual event. This in itself is a sign of the times.