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Inventor Named British Top Eccentric

October 26, 2001

LONDON (AP) _ The inventor of the wicker car and tricycle catamaran was named Britain’s top eccentric Thursday, besting a field of oddballs that included a garden-gnome rescuer and a ``superhero″ who bathes in baked beans.

Triumphant eccentric Lyndon Yorke said the honor was ``all about being British.″

Yorke, an aerial surveyor from Marlow Bottom, west of London, sails the River Thames on an Edwardian tricycle-cum-catamaran and once crossed Afghanistan in a salvaged Model A Ford he’d discovered with a tree growing through it.

He beat 10 regional finalists to win the title of British Eccentric 2001. Runners-up included ``baked bean superhero″ Captain Beany, who ran unsuccessfully for Parliament in June’s general election, and 64-year-old Ann Atkin, who runs a sanctuary for garden gnomes.

``It is a wonderful honor,″ Yorke said. ``It hasn’t quite sunk in yet.″

For his eccentricity, Yorke won $2,860. Part, he said, goes to charity. Part will finance a holiday at Sweden’s Ice Hotel.

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