To quote Jerome K Jerome, “Among folk too constitutionally weak, or too constitutionally lazy, which ever it may be, to relish up-stream work, it is common practice to get a boat at Oxford, and row down to London” – and so it was with relative ease that a group of three suitably qualified individuals (David Williams, Jonathan Davies, William Dockar Drysdale) formed last summer with the firm resolve of rowing from Oxford to London to raise some serious funds for the wonderful thing that is Shipston Home Nursing.
Starting at Donnington Bridge in Oxford on Monday 18th May, we will be rowing the 85 or so miles to London, aiming to arrive at Walton-on-Thames on Saturday 23rd May – dressed in full period boating wear.
Taking an original Thames camping skiff, our plan will take us from Oxford via Radley, Abingdon, Clifton Hampden, Wallingford, Moulsford, Pangbourne, Reading, Shiplake, Henley, Marlow, Maidenhead, Windsor, Staines, Weybridge and Walton-on-Thames – with our aim being to “camp” aboard whilst also taking advantage of the various riverside hostelries to quench our thirsts and shake the “bucket” in aid of SHN.
We will announce the final amount raised at the Shipston Home Nursing Ball on 6th June, a couple of weeks after we finish at Walton on Thames.
Finally, although the core crew is in place, we are looking for any individuals who would be interested in joining the boat for part of the journey – in return for a £100 donation.
Please dig deep and support the rowers on their epic voyage!
Why we are rowing….
“In early 2015 SHN provided fantastic support for my father in his last days and for that I will always be grateful – so it’s great to have an opportunity to raise some money for this fantastic organisation which, after all, totally relies on fundraising. The actual rowing bit, if I’m honest, is a long held ambition inspired from reading Jerome K Jerome’s classic book as a young boy and having been at a school where I think I spent more time on the Thames than I did in a classroom. I hope to bring some skill to the mission – we’ll see !”
‘I learnt to row a boat when I was about 8 – although I don’t think I’ve rowed another one since I was about 9. Never mind, 85 miles, downhill all the way. How hard can it be? Well, quite hard I suppose, very hard in fact. But accepting the challenge to row down the Thames in turn of the century boating gear in support of local charity Shipston Home Nursing who in turn support so many people at the hardest time of their lives was not difficult. It will be worth every drop of sweat, every blister, every strained muscle to help our very own Hospice At Home. And I’m comforted by our skipper’s meticulous planning – he’s promised a suitable watering hole round every bend of the river. We’ll see!’
My Mother died several years ago of cancer and I look back with very mixed emotions, but she died at home, where she wanted to be, with her family around her. In my eyes and mind it was as ‘good’ a death as possible and greatly helped with my bereavement afterwards.
As a local GP I often have the privilege of witnessing the amazing work that the charity Shipston Home Nursing does to enable people to have as good a quality of life in their final months, weeks and days as is possible and to have a ‘good’ death where they want. SHN is local charity that looks after people with any life-shortening illness and I’m looking forward to rowing downstream from Oxford to London raising money for a fantastic charity. Thank you so much for your support in whatever form.