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Banbury's boatyard
Tooley's Boatyard
Tooley's Boatyard

BBC Oxford's Jillian Moody traces the history of Banbury's narrow boatyard and looks

Listen to her specially commissioned documentary online.

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Alongside the Banbury museum, Tooley's boatyard has reopened. The yard was pivotal in the history of canals.

by Jillian Moody

In 1944, a book called 'Narrow Boat' written by Tom Rolt, was published which told of his experiences journeying around England's canal system.

Tooley's Boatyard embraced Banbury's new museum
Tooley's Boatyard embraced Banbury's new museum

He found the waterways in a sad and sorry state, and in the years that followed, and because of his observations, the Inland Waterways Association was borne and the canal system saved.

The Tooley's connection was made when Tom Rolt bought an old horse drawn barge, Cressy, which he had converted into a pleasure boat at the yard.

He spent three months in Banbury, observing the local people and working with the Tooley family. Cressy's conversion even included having a full sized bath put on board!

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