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Bewdley goes quackers for annual New Year's Day Duck Race - with PICTURES and VIDEO

By Dayna Farrington | Bewdley | Attractions | Published:

Ready, set, go! Hundreds of people gathered on the banks of the River Severn for an annual charity duck race.

Hundreds took part in the annual New Year's Day Duck Race on the River Severn in Bewdley

Bewdley went quackers on New Year’s Day for the Duck Race after organisers were forced to cancel the 2018 event due to high river levels.

Organisers of the unique spectacle, Kidderminster and District Lions Club, hailed the event as a success – with 755 rubber ducks taking to the water.

WATCH: Highlights from the day

Bewdley goes quackers for annual New Year's Day Duck Race

A cascade of rubber ducks were thrown into the water from the Load Street bridge at around 12pm noon on the day, after the Mayor of Bewdley, Councillor Roger Coleman fired the starting gun.

The ducks then battled along the river as spectators waited to see which would pass the finish line at Lax Lane first.

This year’s winner was number 75, who belonged to Andy McDonald, who visited from Stroud to take part in the race.

While Annie Pattican, aged eight, from Bromsgrove, was named the winner of the best dressed duck category.

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Ron Cross, president of the Kidderminster and District Lions Club, said: “The whole event was a great success and it went really well – the weather was kind to us.

GALLERY: Pictures from the event

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“The river was also kind to us this year, it had dropped by nearly two metres since midnight on Christmas Day. If it was this time last week we would not have been able to hold the race.

“Thousands came out to watch the spectacle and we entered 755 ducks into the race – which was pretty good.

“We are really grateful to the people that entered and the families that came out to watch. There was plenty of youngsters taking part, it was a real family day out.

“Hopefully we will able to bring back the event next year again.”

And after the race had finished, it was down to members of the Wyre Forest Canoe Club to take to the water in their canoes to collect the rubber ducks that had floated down the river.

Organisers have been forced to cancel and reschedule the popular event to Easter weekend over the past few years, due to the high river levels making it unsafe for the club to collect the ducks from the water.

Officials said the safety of the canoeists going out on the water half a mile down stream had to come first.

The Load Street bridge was closed to traffic between 11.30am and 12.30pm while the race was on-going and motorists were asked to use the Bewdley Bypass as an alternative route.

The popular Bewdley New Year’s Duck Race has raised thousands of pounds for local charities and organisations over the years.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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