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Last Updated: Friday, 23 January, 2004, 16:27 GMT
Polar woman's school message
Fiona Thornewill
Fiona Thornewill walked 700 miles in 42 days
Pupils were given a special lesson when record-breaking Fiona Thornewill phoned them from the South Pole.

Schoolchildren from West Bridgford junior school in Nottinghamshire congratulated her and asked questions about her trek.

The phone call was arranged after one of the pupils e-mailed the trekker.

Mrs Thornewill, 37, from Thurgarton in Nottinghamshire, took 42 days to walk 700 miles (1127km) from the edge of the Antarctic to the pole.

She had been trying to become the first UK woman to get there unaided.

But in doing so she claims also to have smashed the 44-day world record for an unsupported trek to the pole. She is now awaiting a flight home.

Nine-year-old James
James helped set up the phone call
The phone call was set up after one of the children, James, sent a message to her via her website.

"Someone told my mum at work that this person was doing it and we looked on the internet and kept reading this diary and we like followed her all the way.

"We tried to e-mail her to get her to come to assembly but she couldn't."

Questions she was asked included whether she had made a snowman and what she had for Christmas dinner.

Mrs Thornewill says she has no plans for any more expeditions in the near future.

The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan
"She offered to call the children from the South Pole"

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