Anyone who has watched the duck race that takes place between Mansbridge and Woodmill on the River Itchen might imagine that there is only a bit of work to do on the day, to drop the ducks into the river and collect them up afterwards. Well, yes we do have to do that but a few of our Lions today spent an afternoon and an evening doing just one of the many bits of preparation required in advance of the big day.
Imagine, if you will, rather a lot of black plastic bin bags full of mucky, numbered yellow plastic ducks. These were all collected up after the last running of the race and were, of course, randomly put into the bags. The numbers on the bottoms of the ducks correspond to the numbers on the tickets bought by the public who support the event.
In order that all the participants will have a duck which matches their ticket, we have to check that all the ducks were rounded up and bagged and none carried on paddling up the River Itchen and escaped. So with a bit of a military operation, a team of volunteers had to clean, empty the water out of, renumber faded duck numbers and account for every one of the two and half thousand ducks before re-bagging them into numbered plastic sacks.
Thanks to Dave’s wife who kept us supplied with cups of tea and a team of volunteers who joined us from Swanwick Lions, we were able to complete this task in a much shorter time than we had anticipated.
There’s still lots to do before the big day in August, in particular selling a ticket for every duck that’s taking part. Look out for race entry tickets at our kiosk that will appear from time to time in Riverside Park and the Lions pop up shop that we are hoping to occupy in the Swan Centre. There are lots of prizes for the winners including a £250 first prize. So make sure to buy a ticket for this fun event before the ducks make a break for freedom on the 30th August Bank Holiday Monday.