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Please note, as our exhibitions change regularly, the boats, objects and pictures featured in this section may not now be on display in the museum. Please contact us on 01326 313388 for further information.

Lillibet - A paper canoe rowed down the Thames

Lillibet - A paper canoe rowed down the Thames
Tim FitzHigham arrives at Tower Bridge with his paper canoe.

In March 2003, comedian Tim FitzHigham set-off to row down the Thames in a paper boat. His journey began near Cricklade in Wiltshire and 160 miles later paddled under Tower Bridge to a hero’s welcome. His adventures were publicised all over the world and published daily in the Metro newspaper.

By completing this risky voyage, Tim raised £10,000 for Comic Relief. The paper boat is a kayak built entirely from paper and glue. Some pinholes in the resin led to the boat developing some rather soggy patches on the journey which had to be hurriedly repaired with gaffer tape. His paddles were also made from paper and resin, but had a layer of Kevlar added to improve stiffness. He encountered a number of problems on his record-breaking journey, sometimes struggling to find enough water to float his kayak.

He also received lots of support and encouragement from a vast array of people, including Olympic rowing champions James Cracknell and Sir Matthew Pinsent. In recognition of his feat Tim was made a member of the Worshipful Company of Watermen and Lightermen. This unusual boat is on loan from Tim FitzHigham and is currently on display as part of a special kayak exhibition for 2005 in the Museum’s Set Sail gallery.

Please note, as our exhibitions change regularly, the boats, objects and pictures featured in this section may not now be on display in the museum. Please contact us on 01326 313388 for further information.

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