It’s not often you can rely on Manchester weather to provide blue skies and a bit of spring sunshine, especially during a bank holiday! However, my home city certainly came up trumps yesterday, when Spinningfields played host to the fifth annual charity duck race.
The April chill meant that thick coats and scarves were still the order of the day, but that did not stop a swell of people lining the banks of the River Irwell to see Happy Mondays’ star Rowetta launch an avalanche of bright yellow ducks into the water as thousands of the cute little creatures raced towards the finish line as fast as the water could carry them.
The main event was preceded by a corporate race, where companies were permitted to enter their own, uniquely modified duck. The competition was judged by a panel of experts including Janet Radcliffe, Development Manager at Brainwave and Neil Tague from North West Business Insider. The entrants did not disappoint with lively, colourful designs and various comic guises. One ambitious contestant went further still and even managed to develop a motorised duck, though sadly his efforts were thwarted. Due to the strict rules of entry, ‘Greased Lightning’, as his creation was affectionately known, was excluded from the race!
In any event, it was a great afternoon. A staggering six thousand people paid to enter a duck, raising around £20,000 for Brainwave, a charity which helps children with disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy and Down’s Syndrome. The proceeds will go to their centre in Warrington, where it will help improve facilities and further the fantastic work undertaken by the staff and volunteers.
Yesterday’s duck race proved to be amazingly successful as well as a huge amount of fun. Moreover, it was encouraging to see that even in the current climate of austerity, people’s charity can still be called upon to support such a worthy cause.
Did you enter yesterday’s race? What did you think? Post your comments here!