Ready to launch 3,000 racers - and last duck home wins too!

The start of last year's race
The start of last year's race

Picking the winning duck in Todmorden Lions’ Duck Race isn’t all about luck - the weather might have something to do with it as well!

As a duck armada - close on 3,000 yellow plastic ones - are released into the water at the River Calder’s Stansfield Road bridge near the bus station in Todmorden town centre at 2pm on Sunday, April 28, wind and water levels may have a role to play.

Lion Rod Wainwright explains that being able to choose your exact “runner and rider” makes the race special, with ducks of different dimensions to go at.

“We’ve kept prices at 50p per duck this year and here you get the chance to select your own duck!” he said.

“What type of duck wins can depend on which way the wind’s blowing and also the water level, though we have only has cause to postpone it once because the river was too deep. This year we will be approaching 3,000 ducks in the race.”

The Lions ensure all ducks finish the race with a team of sweepers, and they will be ”caught” and bagged up at the finishing line as they approach Hallroyd flats, by volunteers from Todmorden Leos, the junior section of Todmorden Lions.

If you haven’t yet bought your ducks, or want to assess the weather conditions and buy some extras before the race, Lions volunteers will be selling them around town this week and from about 12.30pm right up until the race start time at 2pm on Sunday, when Mayor of Todmorden Coun Abid Hussain will set them on their way from a CN Trading (Hebden Bridge) digger.

After the prize money is taken out, and as well as 1, 2, and 3, there’s also a prize for the last duck home, the proceeds go to Lions funds to help the local community, said Rod.

“Although we don’t have a sepcific charity that we are raising money for, we support lots of things in thee town - for example, we gave out £10,000 in flood relief this last year. Some of that came from Lions International and we also got donations in from our local flood appeal. There were also donations from Lions clubs in Yorkshire and Lancashire,” he said.