Tooley’s refloat Hardy following accident

Narrowboat Hardy has been risen from its watery grave for the second time in two months.

Tooleys Boatyard, the oldest continually working dry dock on the inland waterways, rescued the 78-year-old, 70 feet long wooden barge in June from just outside Napton.

Water begins to leave the Hardy

Water begins to leave the Hardy

The Hardy had been lying on the canal floor for the past four years and Tooleys proprietor, Matt Armitage, and his team of specialist craftsman, were committed to saving traditionally made barges before they were lost forever.

After stabilising the boat Tooleys towed it back to their yard where traditional repairs had begun. Work came to an abrupt halt on Sunday, August 12 after it had been hit by an unknown vessel and promptly took up residence on the canal floor.

Following the accident Matt said: “It does highlight that fact if we’re going to be doing this type of work we can’t leave fragile boats in the middle of Banbury.

He added: “Come October it will be in the dry dock. It’s a shame because in a few more weeks we would have had it in and it would have been a lot more stable.

Hardy moves into the oldest, continually working dry dock on the inland waterways

Hardy moves into the oldest, continually working dry dock on the inland waterways

“The main work is patching it up and that will happen in the dry dock. We will assess the hull and cork it all with rope between the seams.”

Water gone the repairs can start

Water gone the repairs can start

The Hardy will be repaired using techniques that date back to the Mary Rose

The Hardy will be repaired using techniques that date back to the Mary Rose