68 OP­ER­A­TION RE­COV­ERY

It’s a sad sight to see a his­toric hero with its helm on the bot­tom but ex­pert help was at hand at Too­ley’s Boat­yard

Canal Boat - - Contents -

What hap­pened when his­toric wooden work­ing boat Hardy sank while wait­ing for a va­cant slot at Too­ley’s dry dock...

While await­ing a va­cant slot in Too­ley’s Boat­yard at Ban­bury, an oak plank on the hull of his­toric wooden nar­row­boat Hardy sprung, caus­ing it to im­i­tate a sub­ma­rine by div­ing promptly to the bot­tom of the Ox­ford Canal. It isn’t known whether a pass­ing nar­row­boat hit Hardy caus­ing the plank to come adrift.

Too­ley’s had ac­quired the boat built by Nurs­ers at Braun­ston in the 1940s. They have plans to re­store the boat, pos­si­bly adding a new for­ward cabin.

Dur­ing tor­ren­tial rain a diver en­tered the wa­ter and se­cured a weighted tar­pau­lin over the breach in the hull. Two sub­stan­tial pumps were then de­ployed and along­side the boat’s over­worked bilge pump, pump­ing op­er­a­tions be­gan and two hours later Hardy was fi­nally hauled into the dry dock. Too­ley’s staff are be­ing ad­vised on the restora­tion by Ian Sta­ples, who has been in­volved in the restora­tion of 37 wooden nar­row­boats. Full de­tails of the restora­tion project can be found on Too­ley’s web­site.

Head­ing back to the dry dock

Divers start the pumps

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