Oscars wine bar raft racing team have had a busy season, competing in races across Devon, Somerset and Dorset, having a lot of fun and raising money for charity. One of the most scenic races took place on the moat at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells, famously known for its resident swans who ring the bell at the Gatehouse for their food. The bell ringing by the swans is a tradition that dates back to the 1870’s when Bishop Hervey’s daughter taught the swans to ring the bell, beneath the window, with a rope hanging down for the swans to pull.

Richard Hall of Oscars Wine Bar said: “We did many raft races this year, raising money predominantly for the RNLI and local charities. Our races included the Wells moat race, Portishead, Lyme Regis, Lowland Games, Minehead, Beer and West Bay, which is where the heart is and the one race that still remains elusive to win after nearly 20 years of trying. Not all raft racing goes to plan, on one this year we smashed the raft up and sank. All participants are generous volunteers, keeping fit and raising money for charity under the Oscars name.”

The Oscars raft racing team are currently planning their 2018 season, which they are hoping to start on New Years Day at Poole. Our featured photograph, contributed by Mike Wheadon, shows the Oscar team competing in the moat race at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells.

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