The pub has been owned by the Jelf family for over 350 years; here is a little bit of their history.
Legend has it that when King Charles II was fleeing from his enemies after the battle of Worcester in 1651 a royal subject called Jelf ferried him to freedom across the River Severn at Ashleworth. In gratitude, the monarch granted to Jelf and his descendents the right to Ashleworth ferry crossing alongside their old farmhouse-turned-inn. However, other records suggest that these privileges may have been given to the Jelfs even earlier, by Prince Edward of March (later King Edward IV) when we was fleeing from his enemies of the House of Lancaster in about 1460. Certainly the family was in the village at a time when one John Jelfes was identified as an Ashleworth leaseholder in 1450. Six of his male descendents were listed as being military age in 1522.
The pub was passed down from father to son until the early twentieth century when sisters Irene and Sybil Jelf inherited it. They ran it together for over 25 years until the death of Sybil in 1990. Irene then ran it partnership with her niece Jaqueline Nicholls. Jaqueline was passionate about Real Ale and worked hard to create a reputation for serving good beer, wining numerous CAMRA awards. The Pub has suffered some serious flooding incidents including the worst ones in 1947, 2007 and 2012. See if you can spot the flood marks in the pub!
After “Auntie” Rene’s death, Jacquie ran the pub with husband Ron and Daughters Libby and Louise and continued to win awards and keep the boat as traditional as it had always been. Unfortunately, Jacquie passed away before her time and the pub was passed on to her husband and daughters to run. This continued until 2011 when the pub passed into a private leasehold (still owned by the family.) This continued, but the landlord faced tough times with some serious and prolonged periods of flooding. The Landlord left the pub in early 2014 and the pub was closed for almost a year while repairs were carried out. New Landlords Mark and Chelsea Fox took control of the Helm of the Boat in December 2014 and quickly brought the pub back to life. They have made some sympathetic improvements to the pub’s cellar and introduced a wider range of draught and bottled products. They have also created a kitchen in the old “Brewhouse” which now serves Filled Rolls, Salads, Basket Meals and some pretty amazing Local Beef Burgers. Watch this space for more food offerings!
Mark, Chelsea, Baby Effie and Dogs look forward to welcoming you to their home.