Londonist would just like to say ‘well done sir’ to Tim Fitzhigham who, apart from having a rather cracking surname, was [not so] recently successful in his attempt to break what is believed to be the world’s oldest record: sailing down the River Thames in a paper boat.
The original record was set by the 383 years ago by the 17th century poet, John Taylor, who built his paper boat to demonstrate the quality of English paper (he also wrote “Lewd did I live, & evil I did dwel,” one of the first credited palindromes, so make of that what you will).
For his part Tim sailed the 160 miles from Oxford to Tower Bridge in a canoe he made thus: “I got a lot of sheets of A3 and A4 paper, laid them up in a canoe mould and nailed them together.”
As you can imagine the final stretch of the voyage was ‘touch and go’, with Tim having to take emergency measure: “It went horribly wrong and was increasingly gaffer taped together. It was a real struggle to get it over the finish line, but it was an amazing sensation.”
Tim was accompanied by a Royal Navy escort as he struggled to make the finish though, plus he raised £10,000 for Comic Relief in the process.
Question is: will this record last another 383 years before someone else starts nailing paper together?