The Chester raft race has been a staple on the summer calendar for decades, as teams battle it out for glory on homemade craft.

Sadly, like most things, last year's event was cancelled as a result of the pandemic and this year's has fallen victim again.

But hosts of the charity event, the Rotary Club of Chester, are hoping for a bigger and better grand return on Sunday, July 3, 2022.

So to fill the void of an occasion that is as much fun for participants as it is spectators, we look back at some moments from the Chester Standard photo archive that really capture the vibe.

Taking place in the Groves on the River Dee, the rafts race against the clock over a course starting just upriver of the Royal Chester Rowing Club, passing under the pedestrian Suspension Bridge to a finish on the north bank of the river by Recorder’s Steps to the Walls and just above the weir.

The race is over at this point, but rafts then have to retrace their route back to the launch area on the Meadows.

Have you taken part over the years? If you have raft race memories or photos you would like to share, we'd love to hear from you.

You can get in touch here or email

Fancy some more Chester nostalgia? You can check out more galleries from our archives in our Local Bygones section.