Empress Holidays www.empressholidays.co.uk offers narrowboat hire from its base at Nantwich, Cheshire, on the Shropshire Union Canal. Canal & Inland Waterway Photography by David Cooperwww.canalphotography.co.uk has some really good quality canal photographs covering the Grand Union, Shropshire Union and Kennet & Avon canals. It is a well designed site which is still being developed. Boat Finder Brokerage Services www.boatfinderbrokerage.co.uk is a professionally produced site for a brokerage company based in Cheshire. The Inland Waterways Association Northampton Branch www.waterways.org.uk/branchandregion
/grandjuncregion/northampton/index.htm now has a web site that expands on the brief standard details that the IWA gives for each of its branches. The Northampton Branch has put in a lot of effort to provide useful information although it is a pity that the site has such a cumbersome address. The final new site is
Norman Boats Appreciation Society: www.normanboats.co.uk for owners and others interested in Norman cruisers. I get the impression that it is not yet a formal society but this site could be the starting point for forming one.
Kennet & Avon Pages
Our virtual trip from Reading westwards down the K&A brings us first to Berrybrook Boats www.berrybrookboats.co.uk hiring narrowboats from Burghfield just four miles up the canal. At Aldermaston we meet Reading Marinewww.readingmarine.co.uk boat builders and narrowboat hire. Cherry Craft www.canalboats.co.uk/cherrycraft/ have hire boats based near Pewsey. A short way on we can stop at the excellent Barge Inn http://cropcircleconnector.com/anasazi/barge99.html, at Honeystreet, Pewsey, which featured as our site of the month back in February 2001. From Devizes Wharf the wide beam hotel boat Helen of the West www.bikebusters.co.uk/Boat.htm will take you for a cruise. At Hilperton, near Trowbridge, M&P Steelcraft www.geocities.com/mpsteelcraft/narrowboat.html build narrow boats and Wessex Narrowboats www.wessexboats.co.uk have their hire fleet.
Sally Boats www.sallyboats.ltd.uk has a fleet of 16 narrow boats based in Bradford on Avon Marina. Before arriving at Bath we pass the historic Claverton Pumping Station www.claverton.org built by John Rennie to pump water from the River Avon into the canal and now open to the public. By Dundas Aqueduct Sunset Holidays www.sunsetholidays.com hire narrowboats from the Somerset Coal Canal. At this point I must also mention The Somersetshire Coal Canal Society http://rtjhomepages.users.btopenworld.com/SCC2.html another excellent web site that was our site of the month in July 2001. Bath Narrowboats www.bath-narrowboats.co.uk also offer cruises on the canal and nearby Moonraker Narrowboat Company www.moonboats.co.uk is a new hire boat operation.
Having finished the trip down the navigation there are still a few more sites that deal with the Kennet & Avon Canal and deserve to be mentioned. Sevenstars www.c.gordon.dial.pipex.com/sevenstars/ is a tour of a narrowboat showing both drawings of the design and photographs of the completed boat. There are also photos of the Kennet & Avon Canal. Waterwayz http://members.fortunecity.com/maramelia/index.htm is a site with pictures and information covering the Kennet & Avon. Ronarosa www.ronarosa.co.uk tells of a narrowboat based on the canal as does Suzy q www.freespirit.f2s.com/canal/index.htm - a boat for hire on the canal that has no permanent base. The Bruce Charitable Trust www.brucetrust.org.uk is a registered charity which provides four wide-beamed canal boats that can be seen up and down the canal. If you need an engineer on your trip then All Aboard Marine Services www.aceweb.org.uk/AAMarine/index.htm serves the Kennet and Avon Canal and River Thames from a base at Newbury.
Sites of the Month
This month we are featuring the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust www.sncanal.org.uk formed in 2000 to promote the restoration of the canals. Their web site sets out the background to the societies work and details their aims as well as inviting new members to join. The canal route is described and several maps are provided. The Longdon-on-Tern Aqueduct, the oldest cast iron aqueduct in the world, is one of the features of the canal which together with Berwick Tunnel, the guillotine locks and Trench Inclined Plane are fully covered with pictures and text. There are five photo galleries, each covering a separate section of canal with modern and historic photographs. The news page reveals that the Trust is active in many ways, from organising walks of the canal route to speaking to the local press and radio. Another interesting section lists books that relate to the navigations, each volume with a picture of the cover. This is certainly a site full of information that is well presented and easy to navigate.
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.