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Beccles goes quackers for its annual duck race

PUBLISHED: 10:02 30 July 2018

Little ducks which went in the second race. Picture: Conor Matchett

Little ducks which went in the second race. Picture: Conor Matchett

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Crowds flocked to the shores of the River Waveney to cheer on dozens of eccentrically decorated water fowl in Beccles’ annual duck race.

The fastest three ducks. From left to right, second placed Harvey's Funeral Directors, winner Quayside Conservatory, and third placed RPC M&H Plastics. Picture: Conor MatchettThe fastest three ducks. From left to right, second placed Harvey's Funeral Directors, winner Quayside Conservatory, and third placed RPC M&H Plastics. Picture: Conor Matchett

The event, in its 15th year, was organised by the Beccles Sea Cadets, and saw colourful plastic ducks take to the water in two separate races for little ducks and corporate ducks from 3pm on Sunday.

Funds from the races have been raising money for youth organisations in Beccles for years and profits will go towards new training equipment for the sea cadets.

More corporate ducks. Picture: Conor MatchettMore corporate ducks. Picture: Conor Matchett

In what was described as one of the fastest duck races ever due to the strong wind and tide, the corporate race was won by Quayside Conservatories, with Harvey Brothers Funeral Directors, and RPC M and H Plastics coming in second and third respectively.

Owner of the winning duck, Beccles Town and Waveney District councillor and one of the founders of the duck race Caroline Topping, said: “I am so pleased and happy. I am speechless!”

The Norton Peskett duck. Picture: Conor MatchettThe Norton Peskett duck. Picture: Conor Matchett

Sharon Meadows, from Beccles Sea Cadets, said: “It has been a bit unfortunate what with the weather but everybody has been brilliant and people have still come out to support it which is humbling.

“It has not put us off, we will be back again next year. It is all about getting the community together.”

Some of the corporate ducks. Picture: Conor MatchettSome of the corporate ducks. Picture: Conor Matchett

She added: “The money raised will go towards training equipment and general running costs for the cadets as most of our other funds are being used for our new headquarters.”

A fun dog show also ran alongside the races with nine different show categories to enter, including loveliest lady, best rescue, scruffiest mutt, best junior handler, the golden oldie, and best in show, at £1 per class.

Little ducks which went in the second race. Picture: Conor MatchettLittle ducks which went in the second race. Picture: Conor Matchett

Each year the duck race is organised by a different youth group, with support from Crisp builders and Moore’s Music Roadshow providing the logistics and the sound systems for the show.

Among other performances at the show was the Great Yarmouth Sea Cadet Band, who performed twice, once at 11am and again at 1.45.

The corporate ducks ready to go. Picture: Conor MatchettThe corporate ducks ready to go. Picture: Conor Matchett

There was also entertainment for children in the form of the K-syl-R Roadshow, alongside a bar and a barbecue for parents, with stands from the Sea Cadets, Beccles Town Football Club, and Suffolk Fire and Rescue.

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