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The ABNB team


Putting a face to the name!

From left to right: Back - Paul, Philip, John, Noreen, Nigel, Micaela, Andy
• Front - Sheila, Jackie, Michele, Jayne, Justin

ABNB Ownership

ABNB is now in the ownership of Paul & Sheila Smith & Justin Green, whose intention is to continue running the company in much the same way as it has always been. Our constant aim is to provide the standard of service of yesteryear, which is so often missing in today's self-centered hectic lifestyle and our commitment to providing a friendly, professional service is second to none.

With the company now involving more people than ever before - the team, all with boating experience, encompasses all aspects of the cut and it is difficult to envisage an area of the canal world in which we wouldn't be able to offer you constructive advice and support - be it realising your dream or hanging up your windlasses.


Jayne Frances works in the office. She was introduced to the world of canals and narrowboats after her partner treated her to a week on the Grand Union Canal for her birthday. She loved it and has caught the boating bug. She has enjoyed many more boating holidays since then including the Cheshire Ring and Oxford Canal. She is now a valued member of the team and her knowledge, of boats and the waterways, continues to grow. It is her and her partners dream to own their own boat one day as and when they have to time to explore all the wonders of the Inland Waterways. In October 2014 Jayne gained her RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman's Qualification through Willow Wren Training.

Michele Digby worked in the office until the end of August 2018. She joined us from Canal Boat Sales in 2013; the former brokerage within Crick Marina. Her a wealth of knowledge and experience will be missed.

Jackie Errington works in the office. She brought her first boat (from ABNB) in December 2002 and has been living on a narrowboat ever since. She brought her third boat in May 2012 (also from ABNB) and has single handed this for the past couple of years. She has recently moved to the canals having spent the past 11 years living and cruising on the River Great Ouse, so she therefore has extensive knowledge of this river. Jackie has also cruised the River Cam, River Little Wissey, River Little Ouse, River Lark, the Middle Levels and the River Nene. She also hired a narrowboat for a holiday so she could cruise the Llangollen Canal. In October 2014 Jackie gained her RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman's Qualification through Willow Wren Training.

John Kelly works in the office. Previously he worked with Michele at Canal Boat Sales in Crick Marina. John spent his main career working in Investment Banking in the City of London as a Trader and after meeting Marion took a holiday on a narrowboat in 2002 on the Llangollen. He was so smitten with the bug they purchased their own 35ft boat called Little Nell. Together they have cruised quite a lot of the system on extended holidays. John continues to learn more about boats and enjoys passing on information to customers with friendly advice.

Micky & Philip Stafford work in the office and deliver boats. Philip attended one of the first campaigning rallies at Marple in 1966, travelling there by dinghy! Many more rallies followed and it was while boating he met his wife. Micky was born into a boating family and spent her childhood on the Norfolk Broads, moving to the canals in the early seventies after spending time helping her father build a canal cruiser. Since their involvement from the early days of ABNB, together they have moved over 100 boats, and enjoy passing on their vast knowledge of the waterways, boats and boating.

Andy Wenham works in the office. He acquired a passion for the waterways of this country after a friend asked him to help with moving the 72ft Mikron Theatre Company historic boat Tysley around between shows back in the 1970s. Since then Andy and his wife have cruised much of the canal system on narrowboats of all descriptions, including long term cruises aboard their own 52ft trad which they acquired after Andy retired early from his supplier management role at Barclays Bank. Andy has a wealth of experience and enthusiasm for boating which he is delighted to share with ABNB customers. While a volunteer skipper for a community boating project, Andy qualified as a National Community Boating Association skipper and instructor.

Andy Tarry works in the office. After spending many enjoyable trips with his family on hire boats he decided to buy his own boat in 2016 to live aboard. He spent the next few months renovating the boat and exploring the surrounding waterways. Andy continues to increase his knowledge of everything boat related and enjoys helping all ABNB customers with friendly helpful service.

Following a very enjoyable training day organised through British Marine we are pleased to announce the ABNB team have qualified to City & Guilds Level 2 Award in Principles of Customer Service.

In the FIELD

Nigel & Noreen Moore prepare the brochures for ABNB. They have had an interest in canals from a very early age (with Nigel's first boat trip at the age of 3), and owned a narrowboat for over 30 years. Nigel worked for 7 years in the hire boat industry, covering turnarounds, repairs and call-outs, before he set-up on his own business fitting-out narrowboats, completing 15 to date. They have been boating for over 20 years on their narrowboat, covering almost the entire system.

Paul Smith undertakes brokerage inspections for ABNB. He was born into a boating family, who owned a 16ft cabin cruiser that was soon changed for a 70ft ex-Fellows, Morton & Clayton Josher narrowboat. Restored and converted by his father, Paul then spent his childhood extensively cruising the inland waterways. Even whilst studying away for his Engineering Masters degree, he found time to research the local canals and introduce fellow students to boating. The family continued to cruise the same boat for over 40 years, with other waterways explored on foot or in shorter boats. Paul entered the marine industry on a professional basis in 1996 and he represents the industry to the Boat Safety Scheme, British Marine Federation and British Standards Institute.

Justin Green inspects boats for ABNB. In his early working life his father worked on canal boats and seeing the old pictures sparked an interest from a young age. Having refitted his first boat to live on he progressed through a number of boats before moving ashore. He is currently fitting out a converted 1930s small Woolwich although this is proving to be very time consuming. For over 20 years he has been active as a marine engineer as well as surveying and examining narrowboats for the past 6 years. He sits on various committees in a technical capacity, including the Boat Safety Scheme, British Marine Inland Boatbuilding and British Standards Institute.

David Hull inspects boats for ABNB. He started messing about with boats in the early eighties starting with a wooden cruiser and worked his way forward refitting an ex hire boat, and completing a full fit out of a brand new narrowboat shell. In 1996 he qualified as a Boat Safety Scheme examiner and in 1999 became a full time marine engineer. He has had his own boatyard and been involved with all aspects of commercial and private boat maintenance. He recently began Surveying Narrowboats. He is a member of The Boat Safety Scheme, The British Marine Federation, and the Gas Safe register.

Behind the SCENES

Sheila Smith's parents introduced her to boating through hiring, which developed into them fitting out their own boat to liveaboard. This inspired Sheila to fitout her own boat that she then lived on for 9 years. She entered the boating industry professionally in 1990 as a Signwriter, and her artistic skills are also demonstrated in the boat drawings, brochures and website that she produces for ABNB. She also works in the office.

Emma Green spends much of the time maintaining ABNB's social media profile and accounts. She recalls as a child, spending time on the Norfolk Broads with her parents. Many years later, she enjoyed a boating holiday with her own children, where they cruised from Napton to Fenny Stratford. She has also spent time cruising the River Nene with friends. Since meeting Justin who eats, sleeps and breathes narrowboats, she is rapidly gaining more and more knowledge on all things boaty! Emma is helping with the conversion of their 1930s small Woolwich and hopes to be exploring the canal system soon! She also works in the office.

ABNB Ltd, Crick Wharf, West Haddon Road, Crick, Northampton, NN6 7XT

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