Leatherhead Duck Race Goes Swimmingly!
This year's River Mole-based celebrations took place on Sunday 9 June from 1pm and saw hundreds of people of all ages soak up a day packed full of entertainment both on and off dry land in Leatherhead.On a day of glorious sunshine and perfect fast-flowing river conditions for the 'contestants' to partake, excitement on the banks and on Leatherhead Bridge grew as the day's festivities progressed. The races took centre stage, with a total of eight - all sponsored by local businesses - tote races taking place including, for the first time, a pub-themed race which was won by the duck owned by The Kings Arms in Dorking.
The hugely popular family-friendly annual event is organised by Surrey Hills Community Radio, The Swan Centre and Mole Valley District Council. The day saw the Show Choir adding a musical atmosphere to proceedings, a BBQ organised by the Running Horse pub, a model railway and a number of organisations' stalls and storytelling set up on the river bank.
The popular charity swan race also made a welcome return. All proceeds went to Leatherhead Parish Church's 'Making History Project', with a little over £350 raised. The day culminated in the mass duck race, with crowds gathered to excitedly cheer on their sponsored ducks. The mass duck race winners will be announced in due course, with local businesses donating the prizes. Approximately £4,000 was raised towards future Leatherhead town centre events and local charities.
Councillor David Draper, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: "It was fantastic to see so many residents from all over the district, including a great many young children, enjoying themselves at this always popular annual event. The crowds fully entered into the spirit of the day and there was much on offer for all ages to enjoy.
"I'd like to take the opportunity to thank sponsor Carter Jonas and the tremendous work undertaken on, and in the lead up to, the day by numerous volunteers to help deliver the event including: Surrey Hills Community Radio including river bank and bridge marshals, Surrey Search & Rescue, St John Ambulance and cadets, the Show Choir, and Surrey Society of Model Engineers."