Harpenden pub goes quackers of annual duck race
PUBLISHED: 19:04 06 January 2011
WHEN it comes to fundraising for charity, a Harpenden pub is not interested in supporting a lame duck.
In fact the Marquis of Granby admits to going “quackers” in its annual New Year’s Day duck race, raising £1,400 for breast cancer research and training Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Eager racegoers lined the bank of the River Lea at Batford Springs on January 1 to see whose sponsored duck would pip the post at the race, although given there were hundreds of identical yellow plastic competitors, that was a task in itself.
Marilyn Smith, who runs the pub with husband Brian, said: “The annual duck race has been held for at least 25 years.
“People sponsored 600 ducks which were launched into the river at Batford Springs, and the first ones to reach the bridge at the ford next to the pub were the declared winners.”
Each charity received £700, with John Thomson, event organiser for St Albans and District Guide Dogs for the Blind, saying: “This really is a great local event.
“It’s wonderful that people are so generous and turn out in such numbers on this first day of the year to create a brilliant family and community occasion.
“We are indebted to Brian, his wife Marilyn and all the other volunteers who made the day possible.”