A HISTORIC narrowboat built in Northwich in 1926 will be refurbished thanks to an £800 donation.

Ferret was built at Yarwoods in Northwich for carriers Fellows, Morton and Clayton and regularly carried cargoes to Runcorn and Ellesmere Port.

Now the boat is housed at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port and has been a popular attraction enabling visitors to experience what life was like in the tiny boatman’s cabin.

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) Chester and Merseyside branch has given the £800 to help refurbish Ferret, which will be carried out at the Heritage Boatyard at the museum by Boat Museum Society volunteers and trainees on a Heritage Lottery Fund scheme called Keeping History Afloat.

Ferret won several awards at national waterways festivals after she was sold in 1964 to the Clark family, themselves Inland Waterway Association members, who based the boat at Preston Brook and then Barbridge.

Brian Phillips, IWA Chester and Merseyside chairman, said: “The IWA is delighted to provide funding towards Ferret’s refurbishment, especially as it will also support young people learning valuable boat repair skills for the future.”

John Inch, general manager at the National Waterways Museum, said: “The Canal and River Trust would like to thank everyone at the IWA (Chester and Merseyside branch) for their generous donation and support which will make a real difference to the project.

“Now that Ferret has been craned out of the water we can make a start buying materials so that the restoration can get under way .”