sunshine brings out the ducks in the park

Start of the duck race in Endcliffe Park

Start of the duck race in Endcliffe Park

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FOR once the sunshine was the right weather for ducks – and volunteers raising money to restore Shepherd Wheel in the Porter Valley.

Crowds turned out for the annual duck race in Endcliffe Park on Easter Monday afternoon, with more than £6,000 likely to be generated towards the project to get the waterwheel up and running again.

“It was a wonderful day,” said Ann Le Sage, who chairs the Friends of the Porter Valley. “I don’t know how many people were in the park but there were hundreds and hundreds of children chasing the ducks in the stream and there were lots of families picnicking in the park.

“People were driving around and around trying to find somewhere to park but the park didn’t feel overcrowded.”

Organisers expect to top the £5,000 raised last year through people paying for their nominated plastic duck to join the race.

It will take the community total that the Friends have contributed to the £1m project to restore the historic buildings and machinery at the bottom of Bingham Park – a remnant of Sheffield’s industrial heritage – to somewhere near £50,000.

They hope Shepherd Wheel will be repaired and turning again, the dam refilled and an education centre opened by late autumn. The Friends will provide voluntary stewards at the site, which will be managed by Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust.