THOUSANDS of people had a quacking time on Saturday at the 29th annual duck race organised by Calne Lions, which is expected to have raised more than £8,000 for local charities.

Families lined the streets to watch 3,000 ducks as they set off along the River Marden, from the Co-op car park bridge to the finish line near Marden House.

The event is the club’s biggest fundraising event of the year, with the money going towards a variety of good causes.

Rachel Lambert from the of Calne Lions said: "It was a fantastic day, which was very well attended and enjoyed by all. We don't have a final figure yet but we expect to have raised at least £8,500."

There were three races in total, the first saw the large, decorated school ducks taking to the water, followed by the business ducks and finally the 3,000 individual ducks.

The best dressed duck award went to Holy Trinity Primary School, whose pupils decorated their duck with a crown. Heddington Primary School came first in the school race and Cross Country Tyres came top in the business race.

This year’s event also included the return of duck sprint races from the Town Hall to the Marden House finish line.

Guest judge Miss Wiltshire, Georgia Delaney, chose the best dressed school and business ducks along with Calne Mayor Howard Marshall.

She said: "It was my first time attending the duck race and it was really nice to get involved with the community.

“All ducks were so imaginative and creative, I choose the Trinity duck as it had a pageant feel to it with the crown.”

As well as the excitement of the race itself people also enjoyed visiting the green area near The Wharf, where more than 30 local groups, including the Royal British Legion, the WI and Calne Scouts, had fundraising stalls.

For the second year running the Calne Lions also worked in partnership with the Calne Small Business Fair, which was held throughout the day in the town hall.