In this month’s Bygones article, MACE focuses on Matlock’s annual Boxing Day Charity Raft Race, which celebrated its 50th race last December.
The Raft Race was started in 1963 by the Derbyshire Association of Sub-Aqua Clubs to raise funds for the RNLI. The four mile race on the River Derwent begins at Cawdor Quarry in Matlock and finishes at Cromford Meadows.
On the 27th December 1968 ITV’s regional news bulletin, Midlands News, broadcast pictures of the sixth raft race which had taken place the day before.
The Midlands News feature entitled [Midlands News: 27.12.1968: Annual raft race on River Derwent, Matlock] can be viewed below and is also available on the Derby Telegraph Website.
In the film we see around fifty people scrambling down the side of an embankment (which we believe to Cawdor Quarry in Matlock) with many different rafts of all shapes and sizes. Some of the rafters are in fancy dress ranging from bunny ears and chauffeur hats to Viking horns and beards, all competing in this four mile race to reach the finish line.
You can read more about the feature in today’s Derby Telegraph.
We hope you enjoy it!
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