Three men are rowing from Oxford to London to raise money for local charity, Shipston Home Nursing.

Their journey, originally due to take place last year, is inspired by Jerome K Jerome’s 1889 comic novel, Three Men In A Boat.

David Williams, Jonathan Davies, and William Drysdale will be sculling the 85 miles to London, dressed in full period boating wear. The three boatsmen will start their challenge at Donnington Bridge in Oxford on Monday, May 24, and then row to London, aiming to arrive at Walton-on-Thames by Saturday, May 29.

The pandemic has forced the team to make a few changes to the event to ensure the safety of the rowers. Instead of sleeping on board, the crew are now planning to camp on the banks of the Thames. The boat has an easily erectable 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!

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