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This article Clicking on Canals No 3 is the copyright of Jim Shead - The third of a regular series of articles on waterways on the internet. First published in Waterways World March 2001.


 

clicking.on.canals

by Jim Shead


Lets go Clubbing

One category of sites that is small at present, but which must surely grow, is boat clubs. To date I have found just nine clubs in this category, which is mainly for the pages of local boat clubs, but which contains two national boat clubs. The Wilderness Boat Owners Club http://www.wilderness.org.uk/ and the Cutweb Internet Boating Club http://www.cutweb.org.uk/. The first of these is obviously for trail boaters who gather for rallies from all parts of the country the second is a boat club without a clubhouse or moorings and which operates almost entirely over the net. They do hold various events to get together, usually not too far from Braunston, and many members are prodigious on-line chatterboxes often producing a club mailing list of over 100 e-mails a month. Other sites are local boat clubs like the Soar Boating Club http://www.soarboatingclub.co.uk/, the Saul Junction Boat Owners Club www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Canal/7150/index.htm and the well known St Pancras Cruising Club http://members.aol.com/MALBABS/index.htm who are very active on the London canals and tidal Thames. The Leeds & Liverpool Canal boasts two clubs on the web; the Wheelton Boat Club http://www.wheeltonboatclub.co.uk/, at the top of the Johnson Hillock locks about 2 miles from Chorley, and at the other end of the canal the Airedale Boat Club http://members.aol.com/moor59/altindex.html near Bingley. The Lincoln Boat Club stands out as the only club to have two web sites the main one being www.geocities.com/lincolnboatclub/index.html which has a link to their second site. It may be felt that local clubs don't really need to be on the web but, in these days of declining numbers at many waterways groups and boat club meetings, they may need to use every avenue open to them to promote their facilities.

Share Floatation

With the increasing popularity of shared ownership and time share boating I have looked around to see what the web can offer. Challenger Syndicateships http://www.challengerboatshare.co.uk/ has an informative site as does Ownerships http://www.ownerships.co.uk/ who list 65 narrowboats plus other share craft nearly all with links to pictures and boat layout. The small share boat schemes are represented by the Jemima D Narrowboat Co-operative http://www.jemima-d.org.uk/ which consists of a 37 foot narrowboat owned and operated by a co-operative group of twelve shareholders. I have even seen a classified ad in Waterways World selling a half share in a narrowboat quoting a web site which contains just the details of this sale - a page full of information and pictures - but I won't give you the address as I am sure it will be sold by the time this appears in print. Time share narrowboating seems to be dominated by Canaltime http://www.canaltime.com/ who have six bases around the country from Bath to Nottingham. Other players on the web are Holiday Property Bond http://www.hpb.co.uk/, who operate from the Trent & Mersey and Oxford Canals, and Stratford Court Cruisers, with their main base at Stratford on Avon, is represented by http://www.timesharedirect.co.uk/.

What's New?

As mentioned above there are a lot of good sites advertised in WW but I am not impressed by the traders who advertise sites that don't exist, or have nothing to do with canals or boating or display irrelevant information (I think?) in Dutch. There is one hire company that has been advertising their web site since March 1999 and only ever displays a completely blank page. However its good to see that we can now visit the Crick Boat Show http://www.crickboatshow.com/ online or find out about furniture and boat covers from Wilsons http://www.wilsoncovers.co.uk/ online. Once again there are too many new sites to mention individually so if you want the addresses of the other web sites I know of they are all listed under various categories on my Links page at http://www.jim.shead.btinternet.co.uk/.

Site of the month

If in the last seven years you have attended a National Waterways Festival as a camper or boater you will have seen the daily newsletters produced by Mike Stevens and his team. Mike also popped up in the recent Carlton video and TV series Water World, and now he has re-launched his web site, called "Mike Stevens' UK Waterways Pages", at http://www.mike-stevens.co.uk/. There's a lot more here than on the usual canal enthusiasts pages including photos and facilities guide for London's waterways, narrowboat and sailing barge trips., Waterways humour in prose and cartoons, Cats on the cut as well as personal information, but for me the crowning glory of this site is the series of canal history maps. These 21 maps show the state of our waterways from 1750 to 1950 and mark the canals proposed, being built, completed, abandoned and more recently restored. By clicking on one of the coloured squares on the map we get an enlarged picture of the area. Obviously a lot of work has gone into these and they represent a unique resource for anyone interested in canal history.

If you would like to suggest a favourite web site which you think WW readers should know about please mail me Jim.Shead@btinternet.com.

Please note: the above links were correct when this article was published in the March 2001 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