All aboard for quacky races

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Hundreds of people had a quacking time at the 25th anniversary event of Ponteland Rotary Club’s Duck Race fund-raiser on Sunday.

Families watched yellow plastic ducks float down the River Pont and those who took part were hoping to be among the winners as cash and other prizes were provided.

The crowds of spectators on the river bank watching the first race.

The crowds of spectators on the river bank watching the first race.

Children between five and 13 were invited to make their own boats and race them.

There were 29 entries. Molly Storer was the winner after coming third in 2013, Aimee Kelly’s boat finished second and Ruby Wilson’s was third.

There were a range of other attractions, including a bouncy slide, fairground organ, ball in the bucket competition, coconut shy and face painting, and stalls selling high quality food and other items.

Ponteland Young Farmers brought along an artificial cow milking machine and ran a guess the name of the lamb competition.

John Hancock, chairman of the Ponteland Rotary Club International Committee which organises the Duck Race, said: “We’re delighted with how well the day went.

“We had great weather and lots of people took part in the races. In addition, there was a smashing turnout for the farmers’ market section.

“We’re grateful to students from the middle schools and high school and those Ponteland Explorer Scouts who helped out, the local branch of Waitrose for donating the raffle prize (a hamper) and the fire brigade for bringing along a pump to inject a bit of current into the river.”

Celia Grey and P Sutcliff were among the adult races winners, Isobel Pete and Sophia were the children’s races winners and Rowlands Accountants and Blacksmiths Coffee Shop won the business boat races.

Most of the money collected on the day will be distributed at the end of the year to local and international charities, along with funds raised at Ponteland Rotary’s other 2014 events.