Focus Magazines The local magazines for Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Brecon & Talgarth – Events, News and Advertising


Summertime in Crickhowell brings the annual Duck Race down at Bullpit Meadow. Two thousand cheerful little ducks dive into the River Usk and float down stream. The first ten past the finish line win prizes up to £150 for their owners. It all sounds quite straightforward, doesn’t it?

Only, if the river is running high, some ducks will get past their captors and head for Abergavenny and Newport. Their minder is Rotarian Anstie Blackham. He keeps and trains them in the bath at home. They are part of his family, and if any escape he gets most upset. Of course, if any get eaten, he doesn’t really get down in the mouth, because they’re actually made of plastic! (See what we did there? …)

If the river is running low, other factors come into play. The wind blowing upstream may be stronger than the current. At such times the leaky ducks have an advantage. They sit lower in the water, so they keep ‘under the wind’, while the high flying ducks get blown upstream.

The principal organiser for Crickhowell Rotary Club is Jeff Bull. He makes sure all the ducks are milling around at the start line so every one has a fair chance of starting somewhere near the front. Meanwhile, at the finish line by the bridge there are hundreds of spectators making sure the winners are identified and retrieved in perfect order. Jeff buys a dozen tickets every year, and he’s never, ever won!

This year’s event takes place on Saturday 12th July. The meadow will be buzzing with lots of activities – there’s a Bouncy Castle, a Football Tournament, a Novelty Dog Show, and a Tug of War (in the river if it is warm enough). There will be live music and refreshments. Oh, and don’t forget the ducks. They set off at 1pm.

Entry onto the Bullpit Meadow is free. Tickets to ‘buy’ a duck are £1, but you probably know that already if you have visited Crickhowell on a Saturday in springtime – Rotarians have been selling tickets in all weathers since before Easter.
Rotary proceeds from the event go to local good causes, such as schools events and projects, the Powys Young Carers, Usk House, and Mountain Rescue. Other money goes towards the eradication of polio and providing water, food and education to starving children in Africa.

Come along, have fun in the sun, try for a winning duck, and support local charities. There’s no better way to spend a Summer Saturday in Crickhowell!

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