This is me “Hayley” the owner at Marine Cruises. This is my story.
I am forty something with three children and my stepdaughter, husband and two dogs. I really enjoy concerts with friends and love a good walk and a workout not forgetting coffee and cake in moderation too of course. I took over the business ten years ago and it wasn’t something I had on the cards at all it was always what I considered my Dad’s work………
13 years ago, Dad suddenly passed away after not returning home from his usual evening walk with his dog at just 57 years old, a massive and sudden heart attack, I was heartbroken and so were my sisters.
It’s funny when your younger you sometimes almost think your untouchable, until something so life changing like this happens, within two years we also lost our step mum again very suddenly what seemed to show up as a sickness bug but sadly it was the big C and from being what she thought was sick to passing away it was just 6.5 weeks, only 3.5 weeks after she was diagnosed, a truly horrendous time of our lives, my sisters had their own problems from all this grief and just weren’t in a position to take over the helm of what was our Dad’s business, my Dad was always a workaholic and all we had ever known was him at work and visiting him at the boats, watching him build his success and all for what ? Just to let it all go. So, we talked about it and we agreed that I would give it ago with their support.
So I did and ten years on I have learnt everything from engine rooms, plumbing right through to the in’s & outs of the boats and I have managed to build a wonderful skilled team around me who absolutely rock and are all part of the bigger picture and without them we wouldn’t have our success.
About 5 years after I took over when I found my feet a little more, we started to build new boats for the fleet again utilising a skilled team to do this for us.
I am so proud of the modern and beautiful boats we have created for amazing holidays creating special memories for families, friends, couples, their children and their furry friends.
When I hear someone ask me along the canal if they are “Arthur’s boats” it just makes me smile ear to ear and my heart fills again, I know that technically they are not but he built the business and all the trademarks you recognise about it today and I hope he is proud, it’s not been easy it’s been full of learning curbs but wonderful memories too and for me and my family to be able to enjoy the canals, watch customers create wonderful memories and being able to pass on the memories with my children that my dad gave me.
One of my biggest lessons I learnt through losing my Dad was work life balance……it’s tough sometimes isn’t it? I know Dad struggled with it, but I’m on the right path towards that balance.
What makes me happy is the continued success of the footings my dad put in place and the beautiful routes we have and most of all you guys, our customers, your awesome! We love seeing you return year after years and sometimes several times a year, it lets us know we are getting things right.
A huge thank you to my family and my Mum for their unwavering support over the past ten years, I couldn’t have done it without you all.