So, when did all this duck racing at Castlethorpe start?
In 1988 the weir on the River Tove was badly in need of repair. The water authority was not inclined to carry out the work unless half the money could be raised by the village. Richard Sawbridge, a local farmer and stock dealer undertook to raise the necessary funds.
The most appropriate event suggested was a Duck Race to be held on the river and the absurdity of the idea of ducks racing seemed to catch the imagination.
One thousand plastic ducks were originally borrowed (we now maintain our own stocks to ensure they are well rested and at their peak of fitness for the main event). Many local people were persuaded to help with the organisation and on the 29th May 1988 (a very wet afternoon) the first Castlethorpe Duck Race was held. It was a huge success and sufficient money was raised to carry out the weir project, with a surplus actually being donated to the then scanner appeal at Milton Keynes hospital.
Since then, every other year, Castlethorpe village has held a Duck Race as a good fund raiser for the village church. There has been a church on the same spot in Castlethorpe for over 1000 years, so it is fitting that we should use 1000 ducks in the race.
Over the years the Castlethorpe Duck Race has grown into a major event in Milton Keynes, attracting families in their thousands. Our aim is to make sure that first & foremost everyone attending the Duck Race has a great time. But we hope you’ll also go away at the end of the day with a certain satisfaction that your attendance has helped ensure that there will always be a church roof, in good repair, at Castlethorpe!
Enjoy the day!