Halcyon Boating Holidays, previously known as London & Home Counties Narrowboat Holidays, have moved from London to a new base at Oxford. They also have a new web site www.halcyonboats.co.uk detailing their Thames based boats and offering hire boats based at Coventry. Three other new sites are all based on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. R W Davis Company www.rwdavis.co.uk is a company that has been building boats at Saul Junction since 1887. Originally they built wooden ships, and have evolved over the years to include the construction of steel vessels including replica Dutch barges and working narrowboats. Current narrowboat production is concentrated on a replica of the steel motor boats built by Yarwoods of Northwich in the 1930's, a design they call the Northwich Trader. Glevum Boat Hire www.glevum-boat-hire.co.uk is based on the canal close to Gloucester Docks and has day hire boats and a 4/6 berth 53 foot narrowboat for short breaks.
Gloucester Quays www.gloucesterquays.co.uk is a development promoted jointly by British Waterways and Peel Developments covering an area of about 25 hectares (60 acres) straddling both sides of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, a site that at present is a commercial and industrial area in decline. The new £200m development seeks to restore existing listed and many historic buildings and integrate them into the new framework of the Docks.
Sites by the Severn
Having been drawn to Gloucestershire waterways by three new sites I thought it would be a good time to review more web pages in the area. The Saul Junction Boat Gathering www.saulboatgathering.org.uk is now an annual event of great interest and vitality judging from the excellent presentation of its multitude of attractions found on the web site. These include historic craft, boat displays, children's entertainments and games, boat trips, canoeing, model boats, storyteller, marine trade show, craft market, food and real ale at a real pub - The Drum & Monkey - and first class folk musicians plus jazz, classic rock, silver band and Morris dancing. The sponsors of the event are the Cotswold Canals Trust who have their own site at www.cotswoldcanals.com concerned with the restoration of the Stroudwater and Thames & Severn Canals. Very much in the centre of all this activity is the Saul Junction Boat Owners Club www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Canal/7150/index.htm . Located in Gloucester Docks the National Waterways Museum www.nwm.org.uk is a major waterways museum with a web site that has been recently expanded.
The Severn Boats and Boating pages www.btinternet.com/~motorboat/index.htm cover the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal and the River Avon as well as motor boat cruising on the River Severn and Bristol Channel. Severn Tales www.severntales.co.uk is another site covering Severn barges, history, books, floods and anything else to do with the river. The Severn Navigation Restoration Trust www.comtecil.demon.co.uk/index/severn/severn01.htm has a small site setting out its aims to ensure that the River Severn is properly managed to provide leisure and recreation for everyone whilst improving and preserving its wildlife . Starline Narrowboats www.starline.demon.co.uk are a boat building and narrowboat hire company run by Pauline & Ian Cundy since 1980 based in the marina at Upton upon Severn. Their pages cover canal history and marine links & contacts as well as separate pages for hire boats, holidays for the disabled, boat building, boats & chandlery for sale and hydraulic steering system spares, repairs & servicing. Stourport Yacht Club www.s-y-c.co.uk is based in the famous Clock Tower warehouse in the basin at Stourport. This web site covers boating on the River Severn both ancient and modern with details about Severn Trows, James Brindley, locks, moorings, the Severn Bore and much more.
Site of the Month
Narrowboat World www.narrowboatworld.com has web pages with a very professionally designed look which caused me to describe it as a "commercial" site when I first discovered it some time ago. To avoid the repetition of such an error the home page now declares that it is "a strictly non-commercial, completely independent site, letting you know virtually daily, what is happening in the world of narrowboating." I have had another look at Narrowboat World and it certainly seems to be keeping up to date and to be receiving observations and opinions from boaters on various subjects. They say they have received so many emails about Canaltime boats and crews that they really had no option but to include them on a separate page. It is certainly a site with plenty of news, topical items and opinions as well as the more basic information on boating, boat hire and equipment. Very few sites manage to keep as up to date as this one and I suspect that many people revisit it frequently for news and views.
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