Narrowboat Hardy Restoration

Hardy was the last wooden narrowboat to be built by Nurser Brothers of Braunston in September 1940 for Samuel Barlow Coal Company and carried coal to the wharf in Banbury (where the bus station is now) until the late 1950s. In 1962, HARDY was sold to the Blue Line Carriers in Braunston and some time before 1971, she was sold into private ownership and converted to a pleasure boat.

Narrowboat Hardy undergoing regular maintenance
Narrowboat Hardy undergoing routine maintenance at Braunston

In 2018 Tooley’s Boatyard raised her in Braunston and brought her to Banbury with a view to saving this historic vessel. We’ve managed to keep her from further deterioration mostly by keeping her sunk so that her timbers don’t dry out and fall apart!

Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, over the canal weekend in October 2022 we asked 100’s of people what they thought the future of Hardy should be. The overwhelming response was that it should be restored to a functioning boat.

But… restoring an old boat is a lot of work and is very expensive! In order to keep costs down we will use volunteers who can learn a lot from expert craftsmen for much of the restoration work. So if you would like to be involved in the work please get in touch with boatyard.

We are currently asking for volunteers. Please contact us via 01295 272917 if you can help.

Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund

See Hardy on Facebook

March 11th 2024

Trip to Broadmoor Lock to collect timber for use on Hardy.

Feb 24th 2024.

Tooley’s Boatyard, Banbury. Jacob Beak briefing the team before starting work on Historic Narrowboat Hardy.

16 February 2024

Welcome to all our new followers to #NarrowboatHardy wherever in the world you are. In addition to last week’s short reel we also recorded our wooden boat guru, Ian Staples (who worked with the Tooley brothers back in the day), talking about what they were doing and what they found underneath what they were doing.

10 February 2024

This is what the #NarrowboatHardy Team are up to today. Starting work on the interior… lots of cleaning up as ever!

29 January 2024

The #NarrowboatHardy Team work on Saturday installing braces to the hull.

16 December 2023