Timmy the Tug


An exact facsimile of a recently discovered Ted Hughes poem for children, lost for over 50 years, with Hughes’s typewritten manuscript and his friend Jim Downer’s enchanting watercolour illustrations


ISBN: 9780500514962 Categories: ,

Jim Downer, Ted Hughes


Timmy was a paddle-boat, sound as a gong,
Not a worm in his timbers, fresh paint all over.
He was hale as a whale and twice as strong,
And he sailed on the peaceful river.

So begins the enchanting tale of Timmy the Tug and his subsequent adventures as he escapes his moorings and explores the high seas. With his heart in the right place, Timmy struggles at first to be as helpful as he would like to be, despite all his efforts, but by trying and trying and trying again he at last saves a beautiful ship in distress and so recovers his sense of pride.

Originally written in the mid-1950s and only recently rediscovered, the lyrical poem by Ted Hughes, written to accompany a story that was conceived and delightfully illustrated in watercolour by his friend Jim Downer, is presented here as a facsimile of the original manuscript.

Additional information

Weight 438 g
Dimensions 26.8 x 20.1 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 4 November 2009
Number of pages 40
Format Hardback
Dimensions 26.8 x 20.1 cm
Weight 438 g


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Jim Downer is a retired exhibition designer, who conceived and illustrated Timmy the Tug as a young man fresh from art college in Leeds. He has always had a great love of the sea and now lives on the Isle of Wight, England.

Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was an English poet and children's writer. He was the Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998, and is routinely ranked as one of the best poets of his generation. Hughes published many books and poems for children, including The Iron Man, The Iron Woman and How the Whale Became.