PEOPLE may have thought Appledore lifeboatmen had gone quackers this week as they stood ready at the slipway to welcome a long line of little ducks to the village.

But the seemingly strange behaviour was all in the name of charity as the lifeboatmen joined members of the West Quay Fundraisers for the arrival of 650 yellow plastic ducks after their long journey around the coast from Ilfracombe.

For a number of years the ducks had spent their lives happily helping the St John Ambulance in Ilfracombe to raise funds through regular duck races.

But after the races ended they had spent recent years in an attic, until a clear-out prompted the St John to put an advertisement in the North Gazette offering the ducks for sale.

Now they will be out of work no more as the West Quay Fundraisers pounced on the opportunity, with plans for their own duck races.

Ilfracombe St John Badgers boxed up their little friends for dispatch around the coast and the lifeboatmen and fund raisers were at Appledore to receive them.

Alison Stone of the Fundraisers group said: “We were lucky, because other groups were also looking to buy the ducks. But we will give them a good home.”