Author Phillip Pullman has joined the campaign to stop flats being built on the site of an historic boatyard on the canal in Oxford.
Phillip Pullman said he was honoured to help the campaigners
The 160-year-old site at Castle Mill, in Jericho, inspired the author in his trilogy, His Dark Materials.
In the story, the yard is home to the Gyptians, a group of boat people who befriend the heroine Lyra Belacqua.
At the weekend a boat at the site was renamed Lyra's Defiance after the character.
Mr Pullman said: "Some of the boat owners have read the book and saw that I was interested in the canal and the life of the canal and they invited me to come and join in their protests.
"I was very glad to do so and actually honoured to do so, especially when we have this boat named after my character Lyra - Lyra's Defiance.
"I think that sets the mood, defiance. We're going to do our best not to let this development take place."
Campaigners have been battling for years to save the Castle Mill boatyard from being developed.
In 2005, they barricaded themselves into the boatyard to stop bailiffs clearing the site after British Waterways sold it to developers.
They were evicted from the site earlier this year but have vowed to carry on fighting the plans to turn it into luxury flats.
Spring, the developers, declined to comment on the continued pressure from local residents.
The plans have not yet been approved by the city council and no date has been set to bring the matter before it.