Who can you spot in these rafting pictures from Boxing Days gone by?Who can you spot in these rafting pictures from Boxing Days gone by?
Who can you spot in these rafting pictures from Boxing Days gone by?

Recognise anyone in these pictures taken at a popular Christmas event in the Peak District?

The annual raft race along the River Derwent has been going since 1961, although this year’s event is cancelled, and has raised more than £150,000 for the RNLI over the years. So here are somepictures of peop braving the cold water to have some Boxing Day fun.

During the year of 1961 a group of divers looking for something to do in the winter months with a lack of winter diving decided to give a little back.

The group decided to set up an annual event in Matlock, Derbyshire on Boxing Day now known as Matlock boxing day raft event. The first year was a huge success with over 100 rafts taking part, divers from all over Yorkshire and Derbyshire took part and made the event possible.

A spokesperson for the Matlock raft event said: “It is organised by the Derbyshire Association of Sub Aqua Clubs (DASAC) the event raises funds for the RNLI and over the past years has raised on average 2,900 pounds a year and approximately £154,000 or more over all 54 years the event has taken place. In order to support our life boats also helping to buy two lifeboats around the country, in 2015 we won a plaque from the RNLI in commemoration of our efforts. If collected funds are sufficient enough, money is also sent to the Hyperbaric chamber, which is another life saver should divers need their assistance.”

The event is held every year on boxing day with rafts from all over the country turning up to take part and help raise funds as well as plenty of spectators looking for a fun day out and giving back to the RNLI that are always on hand should they be needed not only for water sport enthusiast but the wider communities that could get into distress in our vast oceans. Starting at 10:15am rafts enter the cold River Derwent starting at Matlock, Spectators line the streets to watch rafters hurry down the river, over the weir and finally finish at Cromford meadows.

This year’s event has already been cancelled but relive the madness and mayhem in these pictures going back to 1997.

Want more Peak District retro? Tucking into Bakewell Puddings over the years

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