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The "Pride of the Thames looked like a "chunk of wood" recently dug up from somewhere and damaged in the process. Jerome thought it looked like some "Roman Relic", perhaps a coffin of some sort.
The Pride of the Thames is seem to be a old piece of wood recently excavated and damaged during the process of digging out. Jim regarded it as a relic of Roman times- perhaps the relic of a coffin. A geologist considered the boat as the fossil of a whale from pre-historic times.