Written by Carole Payne
Hundreds of people turned out for the Bank Holiday Mondays Annual Duck Races at The Town Mill in Andover. The event was cancelled last year due to Covid 19.
The day is organised by members of Anton Rotary Club who raise lots of money for numerous local charities and projects. The whole event was very generously sponsored by The Bathroom Collection from Weyhill.
There were six races throughout the afternoon, each one sponsored by local businesses, namely, Ranson Houghton Solicitors (2 races) BCR Accountants, Ben’s Dry Cleaners & Crisp & Clean, Andover New Street Dental Surgery, Andover Patio Centre and Chris’s Barbers.
The bright yellow plastic ducks each individually numbered were sold for £1 each and races began at 1.30 pm. The excitement rose throughout each race with everybody lining the banks and the Bridge cheering their duck on. There was a lovely community atmosphere amongst the crowds gathered to watch. The winner won £25, second £15 and third £10.
After the first three races there was the Boat Race which was sponsored by Ranson Houghton Solicitors.
Children and adults were invited to buy a boat for £2 and then personalise it with craft materials that were provided and they could take their boat home with them after the boat race scheduled for between the duck races
Both sides of the river were lined with excited spectators looking out for their numbered boat. Some got caught up near the beginning and some overturned but the majority made it to the finishing line intact. Three children won (Sorry adults!) with first prize going to Dominica. The prize money was the same as for the duck races.
Supporting Anton Rotary Club during the day were Andover Men’s Sheds They brought along a variety of entertainment for families to enjoy. They made over 200 wooden boats for the Boat Race (quite a job!). They also had stocks, water and lots of sponges!, a mini golf course and the old favourite Splat The Rat, all of which were extremely popular with the crowds.
They also made a lovely wooden well for the day to collect money for local charities. If you are interested in joining the group have a look on their website for more information.
There was also a Guess The Weight Of The Cake competition attracting a lot of entries. The cake weighed 4.2 kg and was won by Sandra Fluen.
Providing music and announcements for the day was Chris Burford, Andover Radio presenter and the Love Andover Team.
The Guest, a band from Farmborough, also played at intervals throughout the afternoon. They played and sang a mixture of 60s and 70s onwards music which was very much appreciated by the crowds.
A fairground roundabout was available for rides for younger children
The Anton Rotary Club would like to thank Pete and Pam from The Town Mills for providing a BBQ and drinks on the day.
Also thanks to TVBC for providing extra rubbish bins and barriers on site as well as part of the car park all free of charge and lastly to their sponsors and the many people of Andover who supported the event and to everybody who gave up their time to help in any way.
A chunk of the money raised at the event will go to The Countess of Brecknock Hospice and other local charities. The remainder will be ploughed back into the Club to be used for future events
The Club are holding a Metal Detectorist weekend in September . If this is something you would be interested in or maybe becoming a member of Anton Rotary please find out more details on their website www.antonrotary.org.uk
Here are the photos taken throughout the day by Brian Payne
Local Mum Caroline Shirley enjoyed the day so much that she put together a Youtube video of her sons day out at the duck race.