Six web sites of national organisations featured in last month's page and we continue the theme with a few more starting with The Association of Inland Navigation Authorities (AINA) www.aina.org.uk a body of 27 navigation authorities in the UK who own, operate and manage some 5,000 km of inland waterways. The site has information on the role of the AINA, its vision, objectives and more information on each of the 27 authorities. The National Association of Boat Owners www.nabo.org.uk was formed in 1991 to put forward the views of boat owners to the various navigation authorities. This site has separate areas for members and visitors but there is nothing to stop anyone visiting both areas, unlike The Young Boaters Club www.ybc.org.uk where guests can view a range of pages but not penetrate the secrets of the members area.
The Residential Boat Owners Association www.rboa.co.uk is an old established organisation looking after the interests of those living onboard. If you're interested in getting a boat as a home their Living Afloat page is a good place to start. The Narrow Boat Trust Ltd www.narrowboat.igw.com is a voluntary organisation dedicated to preserving working narrow boats. It owns the boats Nuneaton and Brighton, whose details and photographs can be seen on the site. The Steam Boat Association of Great Britain www.steamboat.org.uk was formed in 1971 to represent the interests of steamboat owners and to promote the enjoyment of steamboats. A look at their events list shows they are active in England, Scotland, Wales, France, the Netherlands and Denmark. The Wooden Canal Boat Society www.wcbs.org.uk is a charity dedicated to saving, restoring and using on community projects some of the real old wooden working boats. Their pages have photos and the history of their boats Lilith, Forget-me-not, Hazel, Southam, Queen and Elton.
The Railway & Canal Historical Society www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/external/rchs/index.html is for everyone interested in the history of transport, and particularly railways and waterways, it promotes historical research and the publication of research. Last mention in this section goes to the Towpath Action Group http://tag.port5.com which campaigns for waterway restoration with towpath walkers' interests firmly in view.
Ten new sites have been added to the waterway web pages that I list on my Links pages at www.jim-shead.com, bringing the total to 480. If you find any waterways sites that I don't have listed please let me know. Starting with the commercial sites we have M&P Steelcraft www.geocities.com/mpsteelcraft/narrowboat.html narrowboat builders based at Hilperton on the Kennet and Avon Canal and Chertsey Meads Marine www.boatsthames.com a boatyard on the Thames with all the usual services plus boat hire and sales. Butterfly Boats www.butterflyboats.co.uk are a small company hiring narrowboats on the Great Ouse and Cam rivers. Two personal sites are Alienon www.geocities.com/Alienon, a site which includes photos and video clips from two American brothers' first trip on the waterways of Britian and NB Gamebird www.nbgamebird.co.uk. Gamebird is a 26-foot Sea Otter narrow boat built in 1998. Her present owners brought her to Scotland in 1999 and she is currently moored on the Union canal at Ratho near Edinburgh.
Up The Cut www.upthecut.co.uk is produced by a small team for people who share their interest in canals and canal history. The UK Inland Waterways Internet Guide www.canalmedia.co.uk is a commercial on-line directory of goods and services with some general waterways information. Leominster Canal Promotions Ltd www.leominstercanal.co.uk have sought to research and publish information and guides to the route, history, personalities and other information relating to the canal while the Environment Agency has a new site - Visit Thames www.visitthames.co.uk - which concentrates on all leisure activities on and by the Thames. Covering the fenland waterways from the Boston area to Cambridge, The Fens www.fenswaterways.com has information for boaters and other visitors to the area.
Site of the month
This month the laurels go to another national organisation - The Waterway Recovery Group www.wrg.org.uk who have a very professional site that is visually attractive without being cluttered or needing to resort to the flashing graphics and unnecessary animations that make some web pages look like the neon lights in Piccadilly Circus. Navigation round the site is simple and logical, the information is clear and the accompanying photographs are of good quality and appropriate to the text. Most important of all this is a site that is really focused on the business of hands-on waterway restoration, so that in a few minutes a potential new volunteer can get a flavour of the work, the accommodation and even the social life of canal camps as well as find the answers to any questions they may have on skills and safety. For the older hand there are reports and pictures of past camps and the schedule for those to come. This is a site that is a valuable asset for the Waterway Recovery Group. It's nice to see that they are as proficient with JPGs as they are with JCBs.
If you would like to suggest a favourite web site which you think WW
readers should know about please mail me at email@example.com.