Remarkable Ray and amazing Aila hold up Stevenage traffic to lead lost ducks to water

The mother duck with her nine-strong brood.

The mother duck with her nine-strong brood. - Credit: Archant

A caring 80-year-old hair stylist from Stevenage helped rescue a lost mother duck and her nine ducklings by walking with them for ¾ mile across busy roads and open fields to water.

Ray Brandon still works as a hair stylist despite being 80 years young.

Ray Brandon still works as a hair stylist despite being 80 years young. - Credit: Archant

Raymond Brandon who incredibly still travels to London three days each week to work as a stylist in a salon, spotted the directionless ducks waddling in the road near his home in The Paddocks.

Using a mixture of improvised waving, clucking and quacking. Ray and wife Aila, 68, managed to escort the unfortunate brood across roads including the busy Six Hills Way, by holding up the traffic, before watching the ducks plop gently one by one into the lake at Fairlands Valley Park.

Ray told the Comet: “As I came out of my house and turned right towards Hydean Way, I walked about a hundred yards and then looking up, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in front of me.

“This duck was walking towards me with nine ducklings trailing behind.

The ducks on Fairlands Valley Lake.

The ducks on Fairlands Valley Lake. - Credit: Archant

“There were cars coming from different directions, two or three people came up to me and there were children going to school staring in disbelief.

“I phoned Aila and she got ready and came out.

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“From the corner of the road we walked with them to Peartree Park and by now there were lots of people with us.

“We managed to get them right across the park, and then we got to Six Hills Way.

“It was really busy with all the cars going to work but I thought – ‘I’ve got to make a stand’!

“So I became a policeman and stood in the middle of the road stopping the traffic and I watched the ducks cross the road.

“All the cars were stopping and once they got across, people were winding down their windows and cheering and clapping. Everyone was really happy they had got across.

“Then we got them onto the grass bank and the mother duck quickened her pace as if she knew where she was going.

“She went down to the edge of the water and jumped straight in, and the others plopped in after her one by one. It was wonderful to see.”

The quizzical Ray added: “Everything happens for a reason in life and everything is an experience we should learn from.

“You must never give up in life and those ducks never gave up.

“I will remember this an extol the virtues of the ducks and also those of the kind humans who let them cross.”

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