Absolutely quackers! Newcastle drinkers delight at charity duck race

PUBGOERS cheered as hundreds of bath toys took to a Tyne tributary for The Cluny’s first charity rubber duck race.

Held as part of the Ouseburn Festival, 200 faux feather friends – many of which had been decorated or personalised by their sponsors – took to the water and were cheered along by sunshine-drenched spectators.

Each duck had cost £2 to back, with profits from the Head of Steam run pub’s event going to the neighbouring Ouseburn Farm.

Cluny manager Julian Ive said: “All The Cluny staff eagerly await the new duckling arrivals on the Ouseburn each spring, so a rubber duck race seemed like the next logical step.

“Plus it gave us a chance to support not just the Ouseburn Festival and the Farm, but the wider Ouseburn community as a whole, of which we are a very proud member.”

The ducks floated down The Ouseburn from behind The Ship Inn towards the finish line at the bottom of The Cluny slipway, with compere Ross Lewis keeping fans and competitors updated with minute-by-minute commentary on the ducks’ progress.

First prize, and the coveted Golden Duck Trophy, went to Anth Steele, whose Misfits-themed duck was adjudged to have been nearest the finish line when an unfortunate tide-reversal – which saw the ducks start heading back to the starting line rather than downstream towards the Tyne –  called for a change in the rules.

“Despite me having to get waist-deep in the Ouseburn, the rubber duck race was a great success. We raised money for The Ouseburn Farm, and everyone had a brilliant time. We’ll definitely be making this an annual event,” said Julian.