Town goes quackers for record breaking Duck Race as 10,000 people pack Hebden Bridge

The upper Calder Valley went quackers once again as an annual charity duck race returned.

Hebden Bridge Rotary Club’s duck race saw thousands of people line St George’s Bridge, the Packhorse Bridge, West End Bridge and Old Gate to cheer on 8,200 yellow plastic toys.

Some of the crowds packing Hebden Bridge for the Rotary Club's annual Duck Race

Some of the crowds packing Hebden Bridge for the Rotary Club's annual Duck Race

In a recording-breaking year, rotarians estimated that over 10,000 people turned out, helping to raise approximately £7,000 for local charities and good caused.

Rotary president Brian Boocock thanked everyone for their generous support.

“I’d like to thank all the members of the public for turning up and making it a brilliant atmosphere,” he said.

“Thank you to all the 115 businesses who took part in the business duck race and a big thanks to all the children who made ducks for the shop windows and make the town look so exciting. And finally, thanks to the owners of Walkley Clogs for use of the car park.”

The winner of the main race, which saw the numbered yellow ducks leave St George’s Bridge at 3.15pm and arrive at West End Bridge a few minutes later, was Sarah Burd of Halifax, who took the £300 prize.

Sarah said: “I’m shocked. I never win owt. This is a lucky day. I’ve got my eye on a watch so I’m probably going to spend the money on that.”

Second, winning £200 was ten-year-old Georgina Holmes of Luddenden Foot, while third place and £100 was Lee Randles. Fourth place and £50 went to Jason Hodges.

Georgina said: “We didn’t really expect to win anything there were a lot of other entries. We got five tickets and we were just lucky I suppose. We’re going to Akbar’s for a meal and the rest will go to Redwings Horse Sanctuary.”

Before the main event, there was a special duck race for businesses.

The green team was won by T & G Duranczyk Jewellers, Hebden Bridge, the blue team was taken by Marco’s Cafe, Hebden Bridge and the red team went to Clean Image (Huddersfield and Halifax).

Calder Valley schools were encouraged to “design a duck” to be displayed in shop windows on race day.

The winner of the individual duck competition was Little Food Day Nursery, second went to Hebden Royd Primary School, Hebden Bridge, and third went to Crossley Mill Nursery, Hebden Bridge.

First place in the family of ducks competition went to Little Foot Nursery, second was The Ark Nursery, Cragg Vale, and third went to Crossley Mill Nursery.

To accompany the race, there were also food and charity stalls, a children’s fun fair and music from Hebden Bridge Junior Band and a local jazz band. MC for the race was Bob Dean.