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Ducks cause a splash in auction

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:44 01 August 2010

A GENEROUS father rang up quite a bill when he incredibly splashed out on four of the Beccles giant ducks.

An auction was held for the fibreglass figures on Friday, after the birds spent the summer sitting around the town as part of the art trail in the lead up to the annual duck race.

A GENEROUS father rang up quite a bill when he incredibly splashed out on four of the Beccles giant ducks.

An auction was held for the fibreglass figures on Friday, after the birds spent the summer sitting around the town as part of the art trail in the lead up to the annual duck race.

The auction, which involved 11 of the 20 ducks, raised an impressive £2,000 for charity - with over £1,000 coming from Kirby Cane man Paul Hanlan, who decided to buy one for himself and each of his children.

Mr Hanlan, 58, kicked off the spending spree by buying the much-coveted marsh trail duck for his daughter Kelly Wylde, who lives in Aldeby. This duck commanded the highest bid in the auction, eventually selling for £350.

Mr Hanlan then decided he would like one for himself, before concluding that he didn't want to leave any of his children out, so bought one for his other daughter and one for his son.

Mr Hanlan had also attended the auction of the Go Elephants trail that populated Norwich in the summer last year, but ultimately missed out on buying any.

However he took to last Friday's auction like a duck to water, buying the wind farm-themed SLP Energy-sponsored duck for himself, which was commissioned by the Sir John Leman High School kenyan exchange team.

Then he bought a rollercoaster-themed Pleasurewood Hills-sponsored duck, commissioned by Barnby and North Cove Primary School, for his daughter Sarah Hanlan, who lives in Ellingham, and a horseshoe-clad duck sponsored and commissioned by Beccles' Farrier café, for his son Jack, who lives in Hertfordshire.

“Jack doesn't know about it yet,” said Mrs Wylde. “My dad's going to put it in his garden in secret while he's at work! It's one of his very many practical jokes. My dad's quite generous, but I think it being for charity helped.”

Mrs Wylde, who keeps her duck in her conservatory, said that she and her two children had named it Marsha the Marsh Trail Duck.

Liz Goldspink, one of the organisers of the Beccles Giant Duck Trail, said that the auction had been “great fun.” She added: “Could I say a huge thank you to all who contributed - those who commissioned, sponsored, painted or purchased a duck, those who took care of the ducks over the summer and to the many visitors who enjoyed the trail. And of course, many thanks to Durrants for Friday's auction.”

The auction fetched a total of £2,255, which will go to charities chosen by the schools and groups that commissioned individual ducks.

Miles Lamdin, saleroom manager at Durrants, said: “It was fantastic - we were well pleased. The organisers were at the auction and were thrilled at the very good effort by the people of Beccles.” He said that most of the colourful creations went to families buying them to provide fun for youngsters at home.

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