Hundreds watch The Meadows duck race

Chelmsford shoppers visited Backnang Square to watch charity duck race in River Chelmer.

The Meadows Shopping Centre celebrated the start of their 25th anniversary year by hosting a Duck Race at the weekend. The event attracted shoppers in the city to take part in the race where £300 worth of vouchers from The Meadows were up for grabs.

Over 700 rubber ducks were purchased by customers in the centre in the week leading up to the event, to give them a place in the city’s unique race. All of the proceeds from the duck sales were donated to Chelmsford based charity Kids Inspire, who help to support disadvantaged children.

BBC Essex Radio DJ Ray Clark hosted the race and got the crowd geared up for the event whilst playing hits from the 90’s, in recognition of the shopping centre first opening in 1992.

An impressive zorb ball filled with the ducks made quite an impression when released from Friendship Bridge in to the river. Crowds gathered in Backnang Square to get the best viewing spot to see their duck make its journey down the river.

Charlie Marsden, marketing executive for The Meadows said,

“We decided to do something a little different outside of The Meadows to celebrate our silver anniversary; something that families of Chelmsford would enjoy and get involved in as they have done over the years in the Centre. We’re very happy to have raised a great sum of money for Kids Inspire and thank everyone who bought a duck and joined us for our special birthday celebrations. We have a few more things up our sleeves for Christmas time and in the new year!”

The Chelmsford Canoe Club were on hand to assist ducks moving down the river, as well as volunteering to remove all the ducks after the race. John Avery from the Club said

“Our under 12 canoeists were really excited to be part of The Meadows Duck Race and was great practise for our Kayak race that will be taking place this Sunday in the River Chelmer. We were thrilled to be involved in the silver anniversary celebrations and helping to raise money for Kids Inspire.”

Balloons and duck shaped iced biscuits were given out to shoppers and children passing through the centre to help them join in with the festivities.

Fundraising manager from Kids Inspire, Paula Ashfield describes

“Kids Inspire were delighted to be chosen as the charity for The Duck Race to celebrate The Meadows 25th Birthday. We had so much fun on the day and were thrilled to raise over £800 to help us support the most vulnerable young people in our community reclaim their lives. The funds raised will go towards our Reclaiming Lives project that supports the most complex cases that urgently need our help”

Well done to ducks 481, 552, 255, 574 and 134, you all won vouchers from The Meadows!