Where did we find our now home, Jenny Wren

Jenny Wren is a 43 year old Narrowboat. Not her first name.

She was built by Mr Hayter the founder of Hayter Lawnmowers. Built in his workshop, she wasn’t the only boat he built in spare time. Although he built boats, Jenny Wren was the only narrowboat he built. This was for his family to use for weekends and holiday. She is a unique narrowboat.

Photo Credits: Ian Carruthers @llyddiaphotography

Colin first set eyes on her she was in a sad state laying in the hedge back at a boat yard in Northwich in 2004. He proceeded to ask the broker about her in the yard office. The broker was unsure of which boat he even meant when he inquired. The boat laid in the hedge back he told the broker.
Colin established she was called Malerish and after viewing her in the yard with the broker he found out she had already been sold.

Sometime after this, Colin managed to find out the sale of Mallerish had fallen through. He decided to put an offer in for her now she was back up for sale.
Offer accepted – he was the proud owner of a narrowboat.

Six weeks later a hiab wagon went to collect her from the boat yard.
We went to see her onto the wagon, with our son, Matthew, ready for the move to her “make good” home.
Matthew and Andrea astounded on arrival at the boatyard, exchanging looks, they then looked at Colin and said “it’s a wreck”
Colin replied “it’s got potential”
The wagon driver concerned that she didn’t brake in half when he lifted her. She was a wreck, full off holes in the hull and her engine didn’t work.
She was a mess but thankfully safe in her new owners hands as she head back to our farm in North Yorkshire.

The hard work then began with the help of two friends of Colin’s. They set about cutting the old steel off the sides and the bottom, with new replacement steel welded on as they went. There then remained all the internal fit out works to do and the outside to paintwork to complete plus many more jobs. Colin and Andres worked very hard to complete all the work, with every bit of spare time they had spent in the shed working to complete her.

Three years later with a new name on the side, Jenny Wren was complete with her Boat Safety Certificate, Insurance and License, She was ready to go on the water. The hiab wagon to took her to Naburn Marine to be lifted into the River Ouse. Colin and Andrea moved out of the farm to live permanently on Jenny Wren in September 2007.

After a few years of life onboard they realised Jenny wren at 41 ft long wasn’t big enough for living. They needed more space. Colin did some research and found a boat builder that would stretch Jenny Wren.

She was lifted out of the water put on the back of a wagon and taken to Hull and stretched 12 ft and had a new engine put in along with a bow thruster. Some six weeks later she came back and was lifted back into the river. Colin then set about refitting the new extra 12ft of living space that had been welded on the bow of Jenny Wren.

In 2013 the fixed wheelhouse was an addition to Jenny Wren so we had a extra livable room and when cruising we didn’t suffer the elements.

When we decided we would to go constant cruising Colin did some alterations to the wheel house so you could take it down as it was currently to high to go under the bridges on the canal system.

At the beginning of 2020 Colin built himself a small work shop on the front of Jenny Wren. Andrea calls it his man cave.

Jenny Wren has had lots of work done to her today to be the loving home we now know, and she now has a companion, The Bird Box.