The torrential rain over the Bank Holiday weekend wiped out the Rotary Club of Swindon Old Town's famous Duck Race on the River Ray, next to Wootton Bassett Road.
During the night the river burst its banks and flooded the surrounding Westcott recreation ground fields making it impossible for crowds to safely participate in the event, which this year was raising money for the Swindon Cancer and Leukaemia Movement well of contemplation at Lydiard Park's newly renovated walled garden.
Club president Trevor Embling said the bad weather has brought disappointment to hundreds. "This was to have been our seventh year at the Westcott recreation ground. It's often been wet and we have had to put up with showers on the day but it's never been this bad before"
But the decision to cancel was not difficult. And while the local ducks revelled in their expanded surroundings the 6,000 plastic ducks already sold to Swindon residents remained in big black plastic bags ready for another day.
"We will need to reorganise ourselves and find a Saturday or Sunday in late June or early July when we can book the field and go ahead with the races," said organiser and senior Vice President Chris Firth. "Nationwide sponsor the event and provide the prize monies enabling all our revenue from the event to go to our chosen charity.
"This year we are raising the money for Swindon's children's cancer charity CALM and we must make sure the races take place soon."
Swindon Old Town Rotary Club meet every Wednesday for breakfast where they plan their charitable events for the whole year. "The Duck Race is by far the most profitable, as well as being lots of fun for all the family, so we will be back here very soon," agreed Rotarian Stewart Bell. "We will be out promoting the new date with leaflets and advertisements."
Every cloud does not contain rain. The silver lining means that more ducks can be purchased to raise even more money for CALM. If you haven't been lucky enough to invest in your duck yet, you now have time to do so over the next few weeks.
And if you represent a company there is a corporate drakes race to buy into. For details contact Rotarian Chris Firth: