Wymeswold Duck Race and Waddle 2007

A great turnout for the rescheduled Duck Race and inaugural Waddle

For David Keeling's great photos, click here

On Sunday 9th September large crowds turned out on Brook Street Wymeswold for the village's famous Duck Races and the inaugural 'Wymeswold Waddle' '.

The original event was scheduled for 13th May but had to be cancelled due to torrential rain, and the organisers were determined to re-schedule it as many families and children were left disappointed earlier in the year.

The day started with the first ever 'Wymeswold Waddle' - a 5 five-mile road race from Brook Street to Six Hills and back, organized by the Wymeswold Running Club.

A total of 130 runners came to post for the start at 11.30am. There were runners from Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Shepshed, Barrow and plenty from Wymeswold as well as two from France, and two from Nottingham who cycled the 12 miles to Wymeswold, ran the race and then cycled back!

Long-term Wymeswold resident Clive Harrison started the race and the winner was Mark Stock from the Shepshed Running Club with a time of 29 minutes exactly. The first lady home was Jenni Muston, also from Shepshed, with a time of 32minutes and 39 seconds. There was also a prize for the first Wymeswold runner home, and this was Keith Humphrey with a time of 30 minutes and 21 seconds.

The Waddle was hailed a great success, with many of the runners complimenting the excellent organization. Race Director Chris Taylor promises the Waddle will return next year, and it is also hoped to stage a Family Fun Run over a shorter distance. Further details will be announced in January.

Following that, many of the runners and their families stayed on for the Duck Races, where Wymeswold's fleet of seven ducks raced along the River Mantle in front of the Windmill pub. The public were able to bet a 20 pence stake on which duck they thought would win each race, and get a £1 return if they won.

Such was the interest that all betting tickets were sold for the three betting races. In the Puddleduck Regatta children were invited to enter their own duck to win a prize, and over 170 yellow ducks took part. The final race was an obstacle race, and around a dozen children took their shoes and socks off to stand in the brook for the ducks to swim around.

The Inter-Pub Challenge trophy saw ducks representing the four local pubs (The Three Crowns, Hammer and Pincers, Windmill and the Greyhound) plus one from the village store Granvilles competing for the trophy over an extended course, and the eventual winner was the Three Crowns.

Elsewhere, there was live music from three Wymeswold youngsters called 'Little Less Likely' who entertained the crowds with two sets of their own self-penned songs. The trio of Mark Humphrey, Ed Stiven and Paul Isherwood have just recorded their first CD, and copies were on sale on the day.

The Duck Race committee presented a cheque for £800 to the Peter Le Marchant Trust, the Loughborough-based charity providing boating holidays for the disabled, and other village organizations ran their own stalls to raise funds.

Overall, it was a great day with over £3,500 raised by the various organizations, and the Duck Race Committee wished to thank the many sponsors, businesses and individuals who helped to make it happen.

The Duck Race Committee & Wymeswold Village Project Fund

This year's event was slightly different as, apart from hosting the Waddle, Brook Street was formally closed for the first time, and the event finished earlier avoiding children getting too tired. Should you have any feedback on the day, or how it could be improved next year, or how you could help then the committee would welcome your views.

Also, a lack of helpers meant the Duck Race and Waddle nearly didn't take place at all, and the organizing committee would like to hear from anyone who would like to help next year, whether in advance or on the day. Next year, the event moves back to the spring and is being held on Sunday 18th May – a week later than normal.

Should you have any feedback or wish to help next time, please contact Sallie Hooper on 01509 881386 or e-mail her at ogdgs@aol.com .

Funding Applications

Profits from the Duck Race are placed in the Wymeswold Village Project Fund, and local clubs, societies and community projects are welcome to apply for funds toward any specific projects. Should your organisation wish to apply for a grant then please make the application in writing, giving details of the projects, costings, and how it can help the local community.

The deadline for applications is 30th November, and they should be sent to Richard Higgins (Chairman of the Duck Race Committee), 15 Rempstone Road , Wymeswold, Loughborough , LE12 6UE