I believe that this is about the eighth year that we have done the Earl’s Meadow Easter Duck Race but this year the event was both one of the best and one of the worst,
The best because it was such a beautiful day coupled with the fact that so many children parents and grandparents turned up.
The worst because there was little flowing water and the ducks therefore resolutely refused to race.
So the scene is set, beautiful meadow, beautiful day, beautiful people, beautiful ducks and no water. There was no danger of ducks making a bid for freedom and escaping to Lavenham this year, instead, urged on by the cheers from the children, we threw the ducks in at the start line and that’s where they stayed, indeed we had to look closely to make sure they weren’t going backwards.
The kids raced ahead to the steps and the finishing line in order to await their arrival whilst Mel the duck chivvier urged them laboriously downstream.
Indeed they were so slow that I got roped in as a secondary duck chivvier.
(I confess to some sleight of hand as the ducks got, not so much chivvied as chucked )
Eventually, however, we and our charges arrived at the finish line and the steps were filled with children whose patience one could only admire!
As a person with poor eyesight all his life I find it incredible that the children were able to read the small faded numbers on the side of the ducks and were shouting for them as they came around the bend!
We only had time for one race, everybody got a prize and amazingly nobody appeared to get bored which was little short of a miracle,
Thanks to Rachel and Mel and Albie and everyone else who made the occasion memorable.
Next year we might have to construct a dam upstream to encourage the ducks to get a bit more of a shift on!