There are a number of National Organisations with pages on the web relating to waterways. Perhaps first mention should go to British Waterways www.british-waterways.org and their new site launched on the 15th November 2001. Of course it has all the information you would expect on BW organisation, finances, work, history and navigations although these form just a part of this large site. There are also pages on the environment and heritage, including pages on each of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways. Another feature of interest is the maps of all BW navigations giving details down to individual lock and pub level.
The Inland Waterways Association www.waterways.org.uk has a site full of information from the name of your local branch chairman to full details of press releases and policy documents. My favourite part of the site is the IWA shop which offers a tremendous range of waterway books and videos, as well as other items.
For boaters another well known name is the Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs www.penpont.demon.co.uk/awcchp.htm that link local boat clubs into a national organisation encouraging hospitality to visiting members who are away from their local club. This is not a very big site but it does have a map of the waterways packed with little flags representing all the member clubs, a click on a flag gives you details of the club.
Some national organisation are rather more specialist in their interests. The Electric Boat Association www.geocities.com/Yosemite/6173/ promotes electric boating through challenges, trophies, events and many other activities. DBA The Barge Association, www.barges.org previously known as the Dutch Barge Association, is concerned with barges from any origin but especially from the Netherlands and the UK. It has special interest groups covering sailing, continental cruising and historic craft. One unusual aspect of their site is that every page seems to have a completely different background image, good if you are easily bored but it makes the site look rather fragmented. The Community Boats Association www.communityboats.org.uk is a national waterways charity of over 100 member organisations and individuals, providing access to inland waterways for a wide range of community groups. They have over a hundred boats and waterside facilities to deliver educational, training and social programmes to youth clubs, hostels, schools, hospitals, etc.
Six web sites (new to me) have come to my notice this month - many thanks to everyone who has let me know about waterways sites that are not on my Links pages at www.jim-shead.com. The Beatrice Charity www.thebeatricecharity.org.uk, is based at Cheddleton Flint Mill, on the Caldon Canal, and aims to give children with special needs a pleasant, interesting and memorable outing. Tempus Publishing www.tempus-publishing.com is the publisher of Local History, Transport, Archaeology, Military History and Industrial Archaeology books, including the well known series of waterways books which frequently appear in the review pages of WW.
The Shropshire Union Fly-boat Restoration Society www.saturnrestoration.org.uk was formed in 1988 to focus on regenerating the traditional horse drawn Shropshire Union Fly-boats of the Northwest. As the URL suggests the web site is largely devoted to the restoration of the fly boat Saturn. Louth Navigation Trust www.louthcanal.org.uk seeks to enhance the Louth Navigation canal corridor, by undertaking sustainable heritage programmes of canal and building restoration.
Formed in 1958, The Inland Waterways Protection Society Ltd, www.brocross.com/iwps/index.htm campaigns for the Inland Waterways of Great Britain and is best known for it work on the restoration of Bugsworth Canal Basin, on which the Society has a long lease. Finally we have the Aylesbury Canal Society www.aylesburycanal.org.uk, formed in 1971 to promote the use of the arm and to run the basin moorings. A good site to visit but it can't match the welcome the Society gives real visitors arriving by boat in their basin.
Site of the month
From its beginnings in 1980, when its main activity seems to have been the pursuit of real ale, the Tuesday Night Club has evolved into a small informal narrowboat cruising club. The history of the club, details of its select group of members and details of their voyages can all be found on The Tuesday Night Club Official Web Site www.tuesdaynightclub.co.uk. The site and the boats used belong to Neil Arlidge who provides us with many details of the club's origins, his introduction to canals in 1969, and to the boats he has owned, first Beatty then Earnest. All of this information is well illustrated with photographs. Perhaps the best part of the site is the section called "The Tuesday Night Club on Tour" which describes the various voyages. In Tour 2001 there is the "Fenland Summer Tour" which included the Fossdyke, Witham Drains, the Wash, River Welland, Middle Levels, Great Ouse, Nene and much more, all with pictures of course. There are some unusual and adventurous trips to be seen on this unique site.
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.