I have found a number of Thames websites this month. As usual "latest" applies to my discovery of the sites not necessarily their appearance on the web. Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide http://thames.me.uk is John Eade's website covering the river from Teddington up to the source. This is an unusual site with old and new photographs, illustrations, poems, maps and other information relating to the various sections of the river.
For Thames boat hire Bridge Boats www.bridgeboats.com based at Reading offer both traditional cruisers and narrowboats. Nearby is Caversham Boat Services www.cavershamboatservices.co.uk who have cruisers for holiday hire and day boats on the river. At Letchlade near the top of the River Thames is Cotswold Boat Hire www.cotswoldboat.co.uk a small family company operating from the Trout Inn.
Dutch Barges (DBL) Limited www.dutchbarges.co.uk, based in Shepperton, are not a brokerage but represent buyers who want a Dutch barge but need assistance in finding the right supplier. They have 30 years experience and employ a team of retired skippers in Holland. The Middle Thames Yacht Club www.mtyc.org.uk was founded in 1956 at Richmond upon Thames and moved to Sunbury on Thames in 1960. The objectives of the Club are to promote and encourage motor boating and yachting generally, on the non-tidal and tidal Thames.
Moving from the Thames to the River Wey: Farncombe Boat House www.farncombeboats.co.uk offers boat hire, day boats, boat sales and the Hectors on the Wey Bistro. Canal Breaks www.canalbreaks.com provide holiday hire boats based at Hillmorton Locks, close to Rugby, on the northern section of the Oxford Canal, while Saisons www.saisons.co.uk boat hire business is run as part of the Canal Shop at Whilton Locks on the Grand Union Canal. Foxton Boat Services www.foxtonboats.co.uk is a canalside boatyard and shop, situated at the bottom of the famous flight of 10 staircase locks, on the Grand Union Canal, Leicester Section, and occupying premises that have been subject to many changes recently.
The Peter Le Marchant Trust www.peterlemarchanttrust.co.uk is a registered charity that since 1977 has provided day-trips and longer holidays for disabled and seriously ill people on specially designed canal boats from their base at Loughborough on the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal. Sileby Mill Boatyard www.silebymill.co.uk, situated on the rural River Soar section of the same navigation, have holiday narrowboats for hire as well as day boats and wharf services.
Blackwater Meadow Marina www.blackwatermeadow.co.uk is situated at Ellesmere on the Llangollen Canal and offers moorings and all the usual marina services. Further north is Thorn Marine www.thornmarine.co.uk providing boat hire and boating services on the Bridgewater Canal and Shepley Bridge Marina www.shepleybridgemarina.com run a fleet of five luxury holiday craft from their base on the Calder and Hebble Navigation.
Completing the list are latelink.com www.latelink.com with live availability on last minute boating holidays and short breaks in the UK, France & Ireland and Specialist Boat Security Ltd www.sbsltdonline.com supply security and other boating products.
Site of the Month
There are not very many boats on the waterways today that use real horse power but those that do are well represented by The Horseboating Society www.horseboating.org.uk . Although they deal with a very specialist sector of boating they ensure that it is well known everyone who takes an interest in canals.
A look at the website will demonstrate how this has been achieved. Sue Day's journeys by horse boat to the IWA National Waterways Festivals from 1995, and especially her mammoth journey from Manchester to London and then onto the National Waterways Festival at Waltham Abbey in 2000, gave much local and national publicity to horse boating as well as raising funds for charity. The Society was launched in 2001 with Sue Day as "Chairperson".
The website has all the information about the History of the Society, the people operating horse boats, news, events and how you can get involved in horse boating through the Society by crewing and membership. It is a site with good photographs illustrating various voyages and events, both on individual pages and in the gallery pages. All this is much enhanced by consistent, well designed pages with good graphics and simple site navigation.
If you would like to suggest a favourite web site which you think WW
readers should know about please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.