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Floating record store, Rubber Ducky Records, sinks, fundraiser launched

Around 1,000 pieces of wax have been lost with extensive damage to the vessel

Rubber Ducky Records sinks

Rubber Ducky Records, a floating store housed in a narrowboat on the Rochdale Canal, has sunk just before it was due to arrive in central Manchester ahead of Record Store Day 2023. A campaign has now launched to help the business recover. 

Owner Myles Greenwood broke the news via Instagram on Friday 21st April. According to his report, a piece of fabric got snarled up in the vessel's propeller, breaking the stern gland. Quickly taking on water, within minutes the founder was "up to his nipples". Despite efforts to save stock, only "three or four" boxes made it to try land, with an estimated loss of around 1,000 albums and EPs. 

An emergency rescue operation quickly began to drain the canal and float the boat to the nearest suitable mooring spot, where it will remain until an assessment has been made. It's not clear if or when the operation will resume, with damage described as "pretty bad" but customers told this will hopefully not be the end. 

First launched in October last year, Rubber Ducky Records had garnered a loyal following in North West England. The barge itself was bought from a London-based drag artist and required full renovation, and the concept proved so successful Greenwood, who has previously worked at Swiss shop Legram Vinyl Garden, was able to quit his full time job at a special educational needs school in Halifax, West Yorkshire. 

Regularly moving between points along the Calder Valley stretch of the Rochdale Canal, the store was also familiar to residents of Greater Manchester towns such as Littleborough, where it was stranded for three weeks due to environmental works on sections of the waterway, and Middleton, where repairs following an engine blowing up took two weeks. The plan had been to switch location to Manchester city centre for summer, and a stall was also secured at The Pickle Factory's new vinyl fair. It has not yet been confirmed if this will go ahead. 

To make a donation, head to the Rubber Ducky Records GoFundMe page

Read DJ Mag's recent feature, How To Survive As A Record Store in 2023, featuring insight from Rubber Ducky's Myles Greenwood.