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This article Clicking on Canals No 55 is the copyright of Jim Shead - The fifty-fifth of a regular series of articles on waterways on the internet. First published in Waterways World August 2005.



by Jim Shead

Sites Sighted

For the past three years "Roger and Maureen Yorke's Sailing Home" known as Nb Ramyshome www.ramyshome.co.uk has been based in Barton Turns Marina but on 9th May 2005 they started their two year journey around the canals of England & Wales. The website gives details and photos of the voyage and a map shows the waterways covered so far. It is increasingly common for boaters to publish their logs and pictures of journeys on the web and many more consult these pages as part of their own voyage planning or because they just enjoy reading about canal trips.

Ken's covers www.kenscovers.co.uk make custom covers for boats (river cruisers, canal), trailers, jeeps, off-road vehicles, garden furniture and other outdoor items whereas Whalin Upholstery www.whalinupholstery.co.uk are specialists who supply soft furnishings for boats, caravans, motorhomes as well as upholstery for the home. I S Products www.isproducts.co.uk provide intelligent security products for boats and caravans.

PB Mechanical Services www.pbmechanical.co.uk are marine engineers based in the canalside workshop within the grounds of L & L Cruisers on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Heath Charnock near Chorley. Wraysbury Boathouse www.wraysburyboathouse.co.uk offer a complete Thames boatbuilding and restoration service. They also have a full service and maintenance facility which includes slipping, antifouling, inboard and outboard servicing, repairs and storage. With the IWA National Festival approaching it is timely that Preston Brook Marina www.prestonbrookmarina.freeservers.com now have a website for boat sales and mooring enquiries.

The revival of Scottish canals is reflected in a small crop of boat hire sites starting with Caley Cruisers www.caleycruisers.com who operate 13 different classes of hire cruisers on the Caledonian Canal. Cygnus narrowboat holidays www.cygnusholidays.com provide boat hire on Scotland's Forth & Clyde and Union canals and West Highland Sailing www.westhighlandsailing.com have a large hire fleet of both yachts and cruisers based on the Caledonian Canal and the lochs through which it passes.

Down in England the Exceedingly Good Cruising Company www.goodboats.co.uk offer on-board accommodation and hospitality - with private suites and "pretty good food too". Wasserwege Restaurierungs Gruppe www.england-kanaele.org is probably a unique site in that it covers UK canals in the German language. The aim is to get German speakers interested in canal restoration. It gives some basic information about WRG and its work and the dates of the camps.

Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Partnership www.b-mkproject.net represents twenty-six organisations working together to build a new broad canal to link the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes with the River Great Ouse at Bedford. The partners include the Bedford & Milton Keynes Trust www.b-mkwaterway.org.uk that have a long established website. Chelmsford Boats www.chelmsfordboats.co.uk has information about the history and latest developments of the waterways in and around Chelmsford, the county town of Essex.

IWA Cambridge Branch www.iwa-cambridge.org.uk is the latest IWA Branch to have its own separate website covering the river Great Ouse and its navigable tributaries. Our final site is Heritage Afloat www.heritageafloat.org.uk a national voluntary organisation active in every type of ship or boat preservation across the UK.

Site of the Month

This month I have selected another personal page that relates the story of a family narrowboat and its voyages around our waterways. Jannock Home Page http://website.lineone.net/~familykeens/ is a good example of this type of site covering all the usual areas plus one or two extra features that make it stand out from the rest. The "Why JANNOCK" page tells us that the name of the boat originates from Lancashire and Yorkshire local dialect and means straightforward, honest and genuine. It also gives a history of the boat, details about its layout and photographs. There is also a separate Gallery page showing some attractive photographs accompanied by music that will seem appropriate to those of us old enough to remember BBC's Vision On programme.

The Trip Reports page allows us to select from 25 different logs of trips recorded over the last five years. There is also a links page with a short but well illustrated list of links to sites that are of particular relevance to Jannock and the Keens family. Two more unusual pages are the "Police Numbers" - which lists Police Headquarters Non-Emergency telephone numbers for each force for you to copy or print and keep in your car/boat/house for when you need them - and "Top Twenty Page" - humorous listings of canal songs and canal films.

Navigation of the site is simple, through a series of distinctive buttons featuring Jannock, and the layout of the pages and text are clear. Why leave the logs of your voyages unseen in the back of a cupboard when you can transform them into web pages for everyone to see?

If you would like to suggest a favourite web site which you think WW readers should know about please mail me at click@jim-shead.com.

Ken's Covers.

Whalin Upholstery.

PB Mechanical Services.

Cygnus Narrowboat Holidays.

West Highland Sailing.

Please note: the above links were correct when this article was published in the August 2005 issue of Waterways World but for up to date links please see my links page.


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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List