Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Librarian helps raise £9,500 for charity with big duck

Librarian helps raise £9,500 for charity with big duck

THE Wargrave librarian helped raise £9,500 for charity by touring the River Thames with a giant inflatable duck.

Ros Fernley and her friend Timothy Dodd-Wilson travelled on a home-made raft powered by a small motor with a cabin resembling a garden shed and towing the 14ft high yellow duck known as Lily.

In June, they went upstream from Wagrave to Lechlade in Gloucestershire, near the source of the river, and then back down to Teddington lifeboat station. Last month, they visited Henley Royal Regatta, where the duck is a popular attraction with visitors, for the third year running.

The pair were raising money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Mrs Fernley said: “Not many people have seen a 14ft tall duck before, so they always want to take pictures or stop to look.

“Many riverside dwellers and river users are already big supporters of the RNLI and they have been very generous with their donations. We also had many people offering kindness in terms of giving us lifts to get petrol, including my colleagues.

“All the money raised will go towards helping people across the country and keeping them safe on our inland waterways and at sea.

Mr Dodd-Wilson chose to support the RNLI because he witnessed the Penlee lifeboat disaster in December 1981 in which the crew of the lifeboat were lost while attempting to rescue the crew and passengers on board a coaster stranded off the coast of Cornwall in a storm.

He said: “The disaster has always been close to my heart as I was there when it happened. I want to help raise money and awareness for the brave volunteers who put their lives on the line to keep the UK’s seas and waterways safe.”

Lily will make another appearance at the Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta on August 10.

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