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This article Clicking on Canals No 7 is the copyright of Jim Shead - The seventh of a regular series of articles on waterways on the internet. First published in Waterways World July 2001.


 

clicking.on.canals

by Jim Shead


Society Pages

With so many good waterway society sites out there I thought it was about time I had a closer look at some of them. The Chelmer Canal Trust were once known as the friends of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. Their members help to maintain and promote this detached Essex waterway and have produced an attractive web site at www.wmv.dircon.co.uk/cct/cct.htm. At the other end of the country the Linlithgow Union Canal Society www.lucs.org.uk on the 31 miles long Edinburgh & Glasgow Union Canal promotes itself as a 3 star Scottish tourist attraction. They feature their museum, boat trips, map, events, education facilities and society information on separate pages. There is even a page for the tea room. The Driffield Navigation Amenities Association www.driffieldnavigation.co.uk is also promoting a detached waterway (unless you count the Humber as part of the inland waterways system) and using its well designed site to attract more members. Many canal societies are supporting canals that have not seen a boat in many years. Take for example the Derby & Sandiacre Canal Society www.derbycanal.org.uk who are trying to fully restore the Derby Canal as close as possible to the original route. There's also the The Wey & Arun Canal Society www.weyandarun.co.uk restoring London's lost route to the sea, the Cotswold Canals Trust www.cotswoldcanals.com looking after the Thames & Severn and the Stroudwater canals, and Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust www.h-g-canal.org.uk aiming to fully restore the 34 miles of canal and locks which will once again link Hereford with Ledbury. These last four web sites are just a quarter of those I have found devoted to restoring disused waterways and form the largest group in the Waterways Societies category.

There are also societies that support navigations that are open but not fully restored. The Pocklington Canal Society www.pocklington.gov.uk/PCAS/default.asp is an example of these as is The Lanky www.thelanky.co.uk the website of the Lancaster Canal Trust.

The Macclesfield Canal Society www.macc-cs.org.uk and The Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society http://townsleyb.members.beeb.net/llcs are part of the minority group of societies supporting fully navigable canals. Kennet & Avon Canal Trust www.katrust.demon.co.uk has a special place in this group as it started as a restoration trust and now has a fully open waterway stretching over 86 miles from Reading to Hanham Lock near Bristol. We can only hope that many more restoration societies achieve similar results in the future. This article only mentions less than a third of the waterway society websites that are listed on the links pages at www.jim-shead.com

What's New?

Again there are too many new sites to do justice to them all so I have decided to catch up on some of the recent personal pages, starting with John Bennett's Canal Pages www.johnpb.demon.co.uk which has various waterway pictures and Martin Chapman's Canal Page www.bosley.homestead.com/Canals1.html with pictures of the Macclesfield, the Upper Peak Forest and the Caldon canals. James's Canal Pages www.perryweb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/canal has information on the Scottish Lowland canals. If you are looking for sites dealing with individual narrowboats we have Ronarosa www.ronarosa.co.uk, Merchant's Homepage http://homepage.virgin.net/chris.kenway, Narrowboat Havana www.narrowboat-havana.co.uk, nb Major Tom www.nbmajortom.com and Uisce - Floating Abode http://floatingabode.freeyellow.com. For something more off beat try The Beeky Chuggers Carrying Co www.beekychuggers.co.uk - canal pages that are certainly different. Last in this section is Steve and Linda's Canal Pages www.canals.one.net.au. Steve and Linda Horton live in Brisbane, Australia but their favourite pastime is exploring the canals of England by narrowboat.

Site of the month

While looking through the pages of the waterways societies I came across the Somersetshire Coal Canal Society http://homepages.enterprise.net/rtj/SCC2.html which has built a lively and interesting site devoted entirely to this minor and largely abandoned navigation. The canal had one unique feature, Robert Weldon's boat lift, usually called a caisson lock, which lowered and raised boats sixty feet. This is well covered on the site with pictures and text, historical accounts and modern excavations all detailed. Books, events, membership, news, a short history and walking the canal are also covered in a good balance of words and images. If like me you view web pages over a dial-up line you will be pleased to know that you will not have to wait while dozens of graphics files are downloaded. Many developers seem to use high speed internet links and never consider how long it takes to load pages over standard telephone lines. The Somersetshire Coal Canal Society have not made this error and have produced a site that demonstrates that good web design is about access to information not flashy gismos. You may have to wait for some pictures to appear but its worth the wait and there is plenty to read in the meantime.

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.

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