100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 55 – RNLI Mudeford Lifeboat Fun Day

The RNLI Mudeford Lifeboat Fun Day is, as the name suggests, a day of fun activities to raise money for the Mudeford Lifeboat. The highlights of the event are a Raft Race and a Duck Race. In addition, there are a lifeboat displays, food stalls, items for sale, fairground rides, live music and other attractions.

RNLI Lifeboat Fun Day
RNLI Lifeboat Fun Day

The event takes place, spreading out from Mudeford Quay and onto the marshlands around Christchurch Harbour. There is what is described as ‘Park & Stride’ parking at nearby Stanpit Recreation Ground (i.e. Park & Ride without the actual Ride bit).

Raft Race
Raft Race

We arrived at the Fun Day just in time for the raft race, which entails local groups and businesses racing home made rafts along the quayside.

Raft Race
Raft Race

It was the first time that this usually annual event had taken place in four years due to bad weather and Covid. But today was a perfect summer’s day and the crowds were out in their thousands. This meant that it was difficult to actually see the action, but there was a running commentary, as we tried to snatch glimpses of the race through the rows and rows of people lined up on the harbourside. In the end, we resorting to filming the race on our phones held above our heads and then watching the video footage.

Tony Hairdressing at the Raft Race
Tony Hairdressing at the Raft Race

Tony Hairdressing, in their flamingo themed raft and matching flamingo outfits, brought up the rear of the race but won the prize for best turned out raft.

RNLI Mascot
RNLI Mascot

Raft race over, we took a wander around the site, trying to avoid the rather creepy RNLI mascot. To be honest, I find all mascots creepy – apparently it is an actual condition called masklophobia.

Fairground Rides
Fairground Rides

We made a brief stop at a donut stall for sustenance, whilst watching people enjoying the fairground rides.

Fairground Rides
Fairground Rides

Then we attempted to buy some RNLI themed goodies, but there were issues with the card reader and plenty of visitors who had turned up without cash. I managed to pay for my goods. However, thereafter, the card reader ceased to function completely and a large queue formed, while a volunteer tried various tricks (including some really weird ones suggested by people in the queue) to reconnect. Eventually, we gave up queuing and set off back along the quayside, while I pondered why on earth anyone would think that sticking a card reader to your head would help with wifi reception?)

RNLI Biscuits
RNLI Biscuits

The Duck Race consists of thousands of rubber ducks racing along the river. Visitors are offered the opportunity to purchase a duck for £1. The first duck across the line wins its ‘owner’ a £50 prize. However, they had sold out of ducks before we reached the duck stall.

Mudeford Spit
Mudeford Spit from Mudeford Quay

So, we decided to call it a day and went in search of lunch. It was indeed a fun day and I shall be back next year (with cash).

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