Crowds flock to have fun in 
the sunny valley

Over the hottest weekend this year, men, women and children enjoyed some festival fun in various events across Calderdale.

In Halifax, more than 100 boys gathered for a Party in the Park in celebration of 130 years of the Boys’ Brigade.

Wacky races for Ripponden Pre School. Ebony Holt aged three with four-year-old Olivia Williams.

Wacky races for Ripponden Pre School. Ebony Holt aged three with four-year-old Olivia Williams.

Boys aged 5-18 enjoyed an afternoon of sporting activities at Manor Heath Park, in the first park party of its kind for the brigade.

Twelve Halifax Boys’ Brigade companies took part in an inflatable obstacle course, bubble football – having a kick around in giant inflatable balls - and traditional sports, plus wellington and potato throwing. The 17th Highgate were the winners of the junior sports competition section.

Halifax Boys’ Brigade battalion secretary Robert Batty said: “The bubble football was great fun – it was like human dodgems.”

Mr Batty said the event brought all ages of boys together with older boys acting as role models for their younger counterparts.

“We reminded the boys of the history of the brigade and the reason we’re there - which is to give kids something to do and provide moral guidelines; helping them grow into decent people with decent values.”

Thousands of yellow ducks fitted the bill in the annual Todmorden Lions Club Duck Race with 2,000 cascading from the banks ofthe River Calder, floating from Stansfield Road Bridge to the finish line near the flats at Halllroyd Crescent. Mayor and Mayoress of Todmorden Coun Michael Gill and Nikki Gill were the official starters.

Lions’ member and organiser Rod Wainwright said: “It was a glorious day. The launch of the ducks was quite spectacular - it looked like a yellow waterfall. It was a struggle to get all of the ducks into the dumper - but we managed.”

Things got a bit wacky in the sunshine for a gang of pre-school tots in Ripponden.

Ripponden Pre-school pupils enjoyed a day of Wacky Races in sponsored fancy-dress costume cars at nearby St Bartholomew’s Church.

From Thomas the Tank Engine to Postman Pat - thirty children dressed in their favourite children’s character vehicles. Pre-school manager Sharon Smith said: “The children looked brilliant. Everybody put a lot of effort in. The dad’s race was great fun too.”

Sponsorship, raffle and cake sales, matched with Lloyds match funding, raised £1,300 for new equipment and resources for the pre-school.