The band's personnel changed on many occasions, but the most active line-up was - Paul Towler (b. 1965 Bristol, England; guitar), Jeremy Hunt (b. 1965 Manchester, England; vocals), Rachel Jones (vocals), Dave Yelling (b. 1965 Paulton, England; bass) and Marc Bendell (drums).
The band's debut release 'The Surfin' Trowbridge EP', a flexi-disc issued with Woosh fanzine in September 1988 was an early example of indiepop. The group established their own record label Emily's Shop Records for the release of their first 7" single, 'The Fisherman's Friend EP' in July 1988 which saw them gain radio airplay from John Peel. The record was intended as a homage to the Fisherman's Friend throat lozenges produced by Lofthouse of Fleetwood, who allowed the group permission to reproduce their brand's iconic packaging on the record cover.
The vinyl EP became the format of choice for the band. The group's second 7" single 'The Freshen Up EP' was released by German label Blam-A-Bit Records in September 1990. The group's first LP 'Never Mind Manchester, Here's The Haywains', was self-released in 1991, and reissued on CD by Vinyl Japan the following year. The group's third 7" single 'Snuggle Up Warm With The Haywains' was released in the USA in 1991 by Four Letter Words, a record label regarded as one of America's first indiepop imprints.
The Haywains signed to Vinyl Japan in 1992 which would be their label until 1995. A 12" EP 'Rosanna' and a compilation CD 'Get Happy With The Haywains' were released by Vinyl Japan in 1992 followed by the band's second album 'Desperately Seeking Something' in 1993. The band's next 7" EP 'Why Do I Get The Feeling Your Mother Hates Me?' was released by Spanish label Elefant Records in August 1995.
After disbanding in 1996, singer Jeremy Hunt went on to co-run punk label Cider City Records who have released recordings by US bands T.S.O.L. and Welt as well as a posthumous compilation CD by The Haywains, 'A37 Revisited' released in 2010. Songwriter Paul Towler went on to form other bands - The Casswells, active between 1996-1997 and The Westfield Mining Disaster, active between 2006-2010.
In 2013, The Haywains reformed to mark the 25th Anniversary of their inception, performing shows in the UK, USA and Spain. This incarnation of the band released three 7" vinyl EPs for Cloudberry Records, Dufflecoat Records and Whoops! Records as well as a Christmas 7" single for Dutch based label Snowflake Records. The band's most recent gig was in 2017. Future shows have not been ruled out.