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This article Clicking on Canals No 17 is the copyright of Jim Shead - The seventeenth of a regular series of articles on waterways on the internet. First published in Waterways World June 2002.


 

clicking.on.canals

by Jim Shead


Catching up

I have found so many sites recently that there is now a backlog of waterways web pages to mention and too little space available. One of these is The Internet Marina www.internetmarina.co.uk which features boatyards, narrowboats, moorings & other services for the UK canals & inland waterways. The ever growing number of BW sites is represented by yourOWNtowpath.com www.yourowntowpath.com about the Oxford Canal Walk following the towpath through the counties of Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire (OWN). Away 4 awhile http://away4awhile.com is a hotel boat site offering 3 or 4 day breaks from Warwick to Stratford upon Avon and Lowland Narrowboats Ltd www.lowlandnarrowboats.com provide hire boats on the Scottish Lowland Canals.

Scribe Signwriting and Sandblasting www.scribedesign.co.uk will paint your narrowboat and English Waterways www.englishwaterways.com has a directory of waterways sites. The Boat Jumble Association www.boatjumbleassociation.co.uk is a listing of boat jumble events to be held throughout the UK.

If you are looking for a new boat the choice on the web is increasing all the time. Heritage Boat Builders Ltd www.heritageboatbuilders.co.uk are based at Evesham Marina on the Avon. South Holland Marine & Fabrication Ltd www.southhollandmarine.com have a range of Dutch Barge shells available in various different sizes ranging from 49ft up to 65ft in length and N T Boats Ltd www.ntboats.com is a boat fitter based at Bicester, Oxfordshire. Floating Homes Ltd www.floating-homes.co.uk build steel narrowboats and barges at Stilton, near Peterborough. Riverside Narrowboats Ltd www.riverside-narrowboats.co.uk are based on the River Tees, at Thornaby. They specialise in shells & sail-aways but can provide fully-fitted boats.

There are still plenty of waterways enthusiasts who are having their say through web sites. Bournville 5 www.bournville5.btinternet.co.uk concerns the making of a video telling the story of George Wiseman, and the horse drawn boat Bournville 5, carrying milk to the Cadbury processing plant at Knighton. Narrowboat Isabella www.nb.isabella.btinternet.co.uk covers the fit out of this 35 foot boat and the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation. The British Canals www.rod.beavon.clara.net/canals.htm introduces the English narrow canals, particularly the Birmingham Canals. Grey Wagtail Canal Tour, Summer '98 www.fship.demon.co.uk/Canals98/Report.htm describes a trip on the Stourport Ring on an Alvechurch Boat Centre narrowboat. Chris & Jill Newport's Web Pages www.andante.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/brentford contain a photo-essay about Brentford Dock. Anonymoss www.anonymoss.clara.net is where Alan Moss has details of the town of Stone, his boat and cruises. The Cat's Whiskers - narrowboat www.chrisandbev.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/catswhiskers/home.htm is intended to tell the story of fitting out a narrowboat, with the aim of helping other people interested in doing the same thing. Monica and Mark go boating www.narly.demon.co.uk covers a variety of voyages and finally Roger Ford's Stratford Canal Guide www.rmf.freeuk.com covers the Northern Stratford Canal, based on a booklet written in the 1980's, and is soon to be expanded.

Society Pages

Also part of the catching up process are these five waterway society sites. Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust www.barnsleycanalgroup.org.uk are helping to restore the canals and the Bridge 19-40 Canal Society http://communities.msn.com/Bridge1940CanalSociety are dedicated to the Union Canal in Scotland. The West Vale Branch of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust www.westvalecanal.fsnet.co.uk is an addition to three other sites that serve the waterway. Not all canal societies are devoted to restoration. The Huddersfield Canal Society www.hcanals.demon.co.uk has now switched to supporting a fully open canal and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Society www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~cowda has always been in that position. Other waterways sites that I know of are listed on my Links pages at www.jim-shead.com.

Site of the month

Canal Junction www.canaljunction.com has long been a premier commercial site for waterways information and has not been resting on its laurels in the two years since I first mentioned it in WW. Paul Higson, who runs the site as well as building many other waterway pages, has replaced the old brick wall backgrounds with blue water and made other changes which make it even better looking. There are now over 200 pages which are easy to navigate, and lots of new sections, including Tony Lewery's monthly comments page called 'Off the Main Line'. There are pages about boat hire and hotel boats, and a feature about short breaks and days out. Canal guides, heritage, crafts and traditions are all covered and there is a new section about traditional canal and river craft. Museums and engineering features are explained in words and pictures and you can download files of traditional engine sounds - the Lister JP2 and the Armstrong at the time of writing but more are promised. It is not easy to produce a commercial site that has a wide range of information attractively presented for canal lovers, but Canal Junction seem to have the knack. It's the kind of site that repays a visit even when you are not shopping on-line.

If you would like to suggest a favourite web site which you think WW readers should know about please mail me at ww@jim-shead.com.

Please note: the above links were correct when this article was published in the June 2002 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