Sunny weather helped create a carnival atmosphere at Calne’s annual duck race on Saturday with thousands of people turning up to enjoy the fun.

Families cheered on the ducks as they wound their way down the River Marden from the Co-op car park bridge, past Beach Terrace to the finish line at Marden House.

The event, organised by the Lions Club of Calne, has raised just under £9,000 for local charities and is the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Lions president Amanda Venton said the day gave stall holders at The Wharf, next to Marden House, the chance to raise funds as well.

She said: “I’m really pleased with the amount we’ve raised because things are difficult, but our event is one of the ones that doesn’t seem to have suffered.

“Some of the stall holders I spoke to seem to have done all right. We would like to thank everyone for coming out. The people of Calne all came out and supported us which was great.”

The winners of the school and children’s race were Little Angels Nursery, second place went to Hilmarton Pre-school and third place to the Little Acorns child minding group.

Rachel Cartmell, owner of Little Angels Nursery, said: “We have entered it every year since we have opened and we have never come anywhere near winning, so it was lovely.

“The children did all the decorating themselves. It was all pink and on the back of it one of the children drew an angel.”

Toy shop Aladdin’s Cave won the business race, NCE Computer Group came second and Northlands Surgery third.

The day included a new business fair, giving a chance for around 30 local businesses to make the most of the increased footfall in the town centre.

Graham Craig, founder of marketing company CleverTinman, said: “There seemed to be a steady stream of people. They all thought it was great to network and showcase products to a ready-made audience.”