TWO brothers are hoping to restore a piece of literary history.

Gary and David Enstore, of St Mary's Drive, Bedfont, are raising funds to build a replica of a paddle boat that belonged to writer Rudyard Kipling.

Gary, 27, was inspired to start the project through his job as the National Trust manager at Bateman's, the former home of Kipling in Burwash, East Sussex.

He has enlisted the help of brother David, 22, who is a ticket office manager for Brentford Football Club, and his friend Keith Holland, a 28-year-old teacher from Harefield.

On July 13, the group will row a 1870s skiff along a 97-mile stretch of the Thames, from Richmond to Oxford, to raise the £2,000 needed.

When Kipling received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907, he spent the money on creating a small lake at his home, with a boat for children to use. After his death, the craft disappeared but the brothers are hoping to raise enough money to have a replica built by National Trust carpenters for visitors to enjoy on the lake.

Gary said: "The National Trust has got many things it needs to fund and a tremendous amount of work needs to be done. That's why we sat down and said we would raise the funds.

"Despite the fact that Kipling was such a good author, his family life has been forgotten. This part of the story is what is missing from the property."

The new boat will be named the Queen Elizabeth, rather than the original Queen Mary. Carpenters will study a small photograph (left) of Kipling in the vessel with a young boy called Miles Huntington-Whiteley, as well as looking at other boats made at the time.

Mr Huntington-Whiteley, who is now in his seventies and lives in London, will be invited to the launch party. **Anyone wanting to sponsor the team can do so at

You can follow the progress of the trip at the Row Yards for Kipling Blog: