I have to admit that not every site that gets included under this heading is necessarily new, but they are sites I have found for the first time in the past month. I have found over thirty new sites including a lot of North American sites. Finding one site on the web often leads on to other related pages, and that's how I came across the Muscle Shoals Canal
www2.una.edu/geography/tn_web/History/canal.html which, in 1836, was built around the dangerous stretches of the Tennessee River by the State of Alabama with help from the Federal government. A longer waterway is the Morris Canal
www.waterloovillage.org/canal.asp, which was about one hundred miles long and starting from sea level, at Jersey City, rose to 914 feet. Just one more American representative from many USA navigations is The New York State Canal System
www.canals.state.ny.us the official site of New York State Canal System.
Boat builders are well represented this month with Braidbar Boats
http://braidbarboats.co.uk/, JD Boat Services
www.jdboats.co.uk and R & D Fabrications
www.randdfabrications.co.uk all opening sites. Severn Tales
www.severntales.co.uk is a well designed site that covers barges, history, books, floods and anything to do with the River Severn. It also has its own web ring. Craftinsure
www.craftinsure.com joins the many other insurers aiming at the boating market but is unique in that it offers on-line quotations. The Waterways Directory.com
http://waterwaysdirectory.com is a very useful list of waterways related businesses and organisations, it quotes e-mail and web site details where they exist but does not confine itself to those with a presence on the net. If you fancy a six-hour trip down the Manchester Ship Canal then Mersey Ferries
www.merseyferries.co.uk may be just what you are looking for. This is just one of a range of cruises that this famous company is offering on their web site. Others include Mersey and sea trips and many theme-based cruises. As usual you can find all the links in this article on my Links page at
Having mentioned the site of Humber Barges Ltd
www.humber-barges.co.uk last month I thought I would look at some of the other working boats that are on the web, starting with the Commercial Boat Operators Association
www.cboa.org.uk who promote commercial carrying on our waterways and offer membership for traders and supporters of their aims. There is news of commercial carrying and details of the people involved, forthcoming events and you can join by filling in the membership form request on-line.
Northern Barges have a small but attractive and informative site at
www.northern.barges.cwc.net and South Midland Water Transport Limited
www.canalcarrying.co.uk has a great variety of information on its site. This is the sort of site where a quick scan of the main links could mean that you miss a lot of interesting pages. In the text there are links to pages on Fellow's, Morton & Clayton Limited and other historic canal carriers, BCN iceboats and features on the working boats the company uses. It looks like a site that is still growing, as there are a few broken links and blank pages, nevertheless it's well worth visiting.
If you are interested in preserving old working boats try The Narrow Boat Trust
www.narrowboat.igw.com who own the pair Brighton and Nuneaton and offer their members hands-on experience of working the boats. The Friend's of President have recently replaced their site with one called Steam narrow boat President
www.users.surfaid.org/~nixonm/index.htm that is packed with text and pictures of the famous FMC steam narrowboat and its butty Kildare.
Site of the month
We remain with historic narrowboats for the site of the month which is Historic Narrow Boat Owners Club
www.hnboc.com which aims to encourage the preservation, restoration and use of working and ex-working narrow boats. Full membership is offered to owners of historic working and ex-working narrow boats and associate membership to friends of the club. Again we see pages that seem to be waiting for expansion although the site is well designed and demonstrates its strengths on the page about the FMC steamer, Monarch, which is has a variety of readable information enhanced by three well placed photographs. There are also a number of other photographs of historic boats in the site Photo Gallery. With so many good waterways sites on the web it is difficult to pick just one to be site of the month, so I look for a little extra something that makes the site different. The Historic Narrow Boat Owners Club have "virtual spins" which allow you to look round 360 degrees in three different photographs: inside a lock on the Grand Union Canal, the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port and Marple where the club was formed in 1966. You can point and drag on the pictures to make them pan faster or slower and to change direction when you start to get giddy.
If you would like to suggest a favourite web site which you think WW
readers should know about please mail me at Jim.Shead@btinternet.com.