BANK Holidays as we know and love them are hopefully on their way back soon.

Today’s May Day celebrations have been hindered by Covid restrictions, certainly in terms of public gatherings.

However, there’s light at the end of the tunnel and while we’re not out of the woods just yet, in terms of the pandemic, things are hopefully, slowly returning to normal.

To whet your appetite for better times ahead, we’re turning the clock back to shine the spotlight on recent Bank Holiday celebrations across north Essex.

Duck race

Clear the ducks - hundreds of rubber ducks were tipped into the river at Dedham, in 2019. The popular event proved a fantastic fundraiser for girl guides

Talking of all things ‘wet’, two of our pictures were taken at the popular Dedham Duck Race held on the first May Bank Holiday in 2019.

Yellow plastic ducks flooded the village’s river to raise money for the Manningtree Guides, who raised £483.

Duck race

Here we go - the popular duck race proved a fantastic fundraiser for girl guides

We also enjoyed looking back at pictures of the bluebells and bazaar weekend held at Green Island Gardens, in Ardleigh.

As well as a chance to visit the award-winning gardens, visitors - undeterred by wind and rain - were able to walk around an open-air bazaar.

Green Island Gardens

Flower power - little Thomas Touzel, just 20-months-old, enjoyed these stunning flowers at the Green Island Gardens open day in 2019

Elsewhere two years ago, hundreds raised a glass for the return of a boozy Bank Holiday weekend in Harwich.

Residents and visitors flocked to the town’s pubs for the four-day Harwich Ale Trail 2019.

The annual event saw the town’s pubs serve a total of 78 ranges of carefully-selected beers.

A total of 11 pubs participated, including Café on the Pier, New Bell Inn, The Alma, Shakers and The Stingray.

The Harwich Ale Trail event. Rob and Teresa Ranson, landlord and lady at The Hanover

Ale drink to that - Rob and Teresa Ranson, landlord and lady at the former Hanover pub

Meanwhile, music rang out across Mersea Island as a popular festival made its triumphant return.

In its 11th outing since humble beginnings as a charity concert, Cosmic Puffin attracted dozens of talented bands from across Essex.

Across seven stages, a wide variety of acts offered up different flavours and sounds.