One of the highlights of the year in Bibury is the annual Boxing Day Duck Race. In practice, this takes the form of two races: the first involves plastic decoy ducks, and the second the sort of yellow rubber ducks that you put in your bath. Well, perhaps not in your bath, but you know what I mean.
The river that flows through Bibury is the Coln, a typically fast flowing chalk stream. Yesterday, thanks to weeks of rain, the Coln was at its highest-ever recorded level, so the yellow rubber duck race was abandoned. There were fears that hundreds of little ducks would jam what space was left underneath the bridge, causing the river to overflow into the neighbouring cottages.
The local cricket club organises the race, and by 10.30am yesterday morning, there was a long queue to sponsor the decoy ducks. For £10, you had the chance of winning £100, or a bottle of champagne or whisky. The sponsor of the winning duck could also choose which charity would benefit from the money raised.
This is Terry, the local builder and a member of the cricket club committee. I haven't seen Terry play cricket but I can attest to his building skills, because he has just built a walkway connecting the two terraces at the back of my house. It's beautiful.
The little ducks were raffled instead of raced, much to the disappointment of the smaller children. They cost 50p, which is pretty good for a chance to win £100!
The duck race draws crowds from neighbouring areas as well as locals.
Setting up the net to catch the ducks at the finishing line.
While back at the start, the ducks were still being snapped up by punters.
On occasions like this, it helps to have friends in high places. Or in high balconies.
And they're off!
The real ducks were very confused by the race. They'd gathered to watch what was going on but the minute the decoys came sailing down the river, they took to the air.
Nearly there! There was a clear winner, which was number 20.
At the finishing line the ducks are gathered up ....
... and put away until next year. They look like they're glad of the rest.
Merry Christmas, everyone!