ROWERS inspired by Jerome K Jerome’s 1889 comic novel, Three Men In A Boat, are making waves for a charity close to their heart.
David Williams, Jonathan Davies and William Dockar-Drysdale will be rowing the 85 miles from Oxford to London, for Shipston Home Nursing, in full period boating wear.
The five-day journey – which was originally planned for last year – will start at Donnington Bridge in Oxford on Monday May 24, and will finish at Walton-on-Thames.
The pandemic has forced the team to make a few changes to the event to ensure their safety. Instead of sleeping on board, the crew is now planning to camp on the banks of the Thames. The boat has a canvas cover which can be used for shelter from the sun and rain during the day. At night, it converts the craft into a floating tent which under normal circumstances would have enabled the three rowers to experience nature and river life up close, as featured in Three Men in a Boat.
A private benefactor is supporting the men’s challenge and has pledged to double whatever is raised before June 1, up to a maximum of £10,000
William Drysdale, Skipper of the team, said: “In early 2015 Shipston Home Nursing provided fantastic support for my father in his last days and for that I will always be grateful. This is a great opportunity to raise some money for this incredible organisation which almost totally relies on fundraising events and the local support from the community. The actual rowing bit, is a long-held ambition inspired by reading Jerome’s classic book, Three Men in A Boat, when I was at school, when I think I spent more time on the Thames than I did in a classroom!”
Jonathan Davies added: “Accepting the challenge to row down the Thames in turn of the century boating gear in support of Shipston Home Nursing was not difficult. It will be worth every drop of sweat, every blister, every strained muscle to help our very own local hospice at home charity, who support so many people at the hardest time of their lives.”
David Williams, a GP at Shipston Medical Centre, said the charity allowed his mother to die at home where she wanted to be, surrounded by family.
He added: “In my eyes it was as ‘good’ a death as possible and greatly helped with my grieving process. As a local GP, I often have the privilege of witnessing the work of Shipston Home Nursing and I see how they enable people to have as good a quality of life in their final months, weeks and days as possible.”
Rebecca Mawle, Head of Fundraising for Shipston Home Nursing added charity staff were grateful to the trio and the benefactor, particularly after the pandemic’s impact on fund-raising.
Visit virginmoneygiving.com/fund/3meninaboat to donate to the cause.