World Wide on the Web
Have you heard of the Old Middlesex Canal? Check it out on www.geocities.com/Athens/Troy/6034 and you will see that it's no good searching the maps of North London as this canal ran from Lowell Massachusetts to Boston during the first half of the nineteenth century. Likewise if you thought that the Friends of the Trent-Severn Waterways www.ftsw.com were supporters of Brindley's Grand Cross, a visit to their website will tell you that the Trent-Severn Waterway links the Bay of Quinte with Georgian Bay, meandering 386 km across Ontario, Canada. Not that most overseas canals have such English sounding names; the Illinois & Michigan Canal Corridor www.canalcor.org describes the opening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848, which gave a 97-mile link from the Great Lakes to the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. The Delaware & Hudson Canal is covered by the D & H Canal Historical Society www.canalmuseum.org and by the National Parks Service at www.nps.gov/upde/d&hcanal.htm who also has web sites for several other canals in the USA. America has a long history of building canals, as evidenced by New York's Oldest Canal www.nysm.nysed.gov/history/neck/index.html which started in 1730 when a small cut was excavated across a narrow neck of land in a meander of the Mohawk River. This was the first artificial channel for navigation created in what would become New York State. Before leaving North America I will just mention the National Canal Museum www.canals.org/index.htm based at Easton, Philadelphia, which covers the Delaware Canal, Lehigh Navigation and Morris Canal.
Further afield we have the Australian Canal Society http://linus.socs.uts.edu.au/~colville/acs/ who declare they are "Devoted To The World's Inland Waterways" and closer to home is EuropeAfloat www.europeafloat.com which declares the ambitious aim to list all canal boat hirers of Europe by country and region or waterway. Kanalseite http://members.aol.com/kanalpage/ enterprisingly has information on German canals in English and on English canals in German. Our closest non-UK site is the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland www.iwai.ie a site packed with information. These are just some of the forty overseas sites I have found, a full list can be found on my Links pages at www.jim-shead.com.
Another good crop, starting with some personal pages. Devon is a site www.restorej4.co.uk dedicated to the restoration of a vintage marine engine and Dvbris www.addison98.freeserve.co.uk/index.htm tells the story of a 54 foot narrowboat, built in 1967 and its transformation into an all steel boat with an unusual hull. Angie Howard's website http://angiehoward.co.uk has some good photographs of both the Caledonian Canal and the Witham Navigable Drains.
The Humber Keel & Sloop Preservation Society www.drifnav.fsnet.co.uk/keels/index.htm operate two sailing vessels - the Humber Keel 'Comrade' and Humber Sloop 'Amy Howson' from South Ferriby. Another society with a new site is the Old Union Canals Society www.lewinprogs.freeserve.co.uk which promotes two canals, the Old Union (the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union) and the original Grand Union from Foxton to Norton Junction. The River Stour Trust, a registered charity, was formed in 1968 to protect the right of navigation on the River Stour (Suffolk) has a site at www.riverstourtrust.org and Wiltshire Waterways Festival 2002 www.wilts-canal-festival.co.uk gives details of this event which takes place on the 15th & 16th June. Scottish Inland Waterways Association http://siwa.netfirms.com claims to be "The Voice of Scotland's Canals" and the Essex Waterway Recovery Group www.essex.wrg.org.uk gives all the details of its digs.
We also have three commercial sites - Marina Park Services www.lancastercanal.co.uk on the Lancaster Canal, the Stockton Dry Dock Company http://sddpearce.supanet.com providing boat building and dry dock services on the Grand Union Canal and Chris Horton Marine Services www.mb-internet.dingojunction.com/chrm.html offering boat building and maintenance services.
Site of the month
This months site is UK Canals Network www.ukcanals.net which not only has a site containing a lot of useful waterways information but is also the home of the UK Canals Web Ring. Web rings link web sites with a common theme so that users can go from one site to another by clicking the "next" or "previous" buttons. There is also a facility to list all the sites in the ring so that you can pick sites to visit. At one time another web ring, the UK Waterways Network, was the only ring for inland waterways enthusiasts but this has been dormant for well over a year so that changes and the addition of new members have not been possible. Ken Fairhurst has stepped into the breach and provided us with the UK Canals Network, which at the time of writing has over sixty members. For anyone looking for canal pages this is a really good way of finding old and new sites, and for those setting up a new waterways pages it offers an excellent means of reaching people with an interest in the subject. All this and the sound of gently lapping water every time you visit the home page.
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.