There are always new waterways sites being set up - the difficulty is finding them. This month all the "new" sites have been found by using search engines and web rings, as surprisingly few people contact me to let me know that they are setting up a new site, or changing their URL, even though this page has been a regular feature in WW for two years. The 600 plus sites that I know of are all listed on my Links pages at www.jim-shead.com. If you know of any not covered please send me an e-mail.
A search for "canal boats" revealed the Lyneal Trust www.lyneal-trust.org.uk a registered charity that provides canal holidays for people with disabilities with their families and friends from Lyneal Wharf near Ellesmere on the Llangollen Canal. I found the Wendover Arm Trust www.wendovercanal.org.uk on the Waterway Web Ring. They support the restoration of the Grand Union Canal Wendover Arm. White Horse Boats www.aceweb.org.uk/whb/index.htm operate hire boats from Devizes Wharf on the Kennet & Avon Canal. Another boat hire business is the Camelon Boat Company www.camelonboat.com on the Forth & Clyde or Union canals.
A crop of boat-builders start with Scottish Canal Cruising www.scottishcanalcruising.com also on the Millennium Link canals, as the Forth & Clyde and Union canals are often now called. Fernwood Craft www.fernwoodcraft.co.uk are run by Ken and Julia Warriner, who began boat building in 1997 and pride themselves on innovative design and the highest level of craftsmanship. On the Coventry Canal Trent Marine Industries www.trentmarineindustries.co.uk are narrowboat builders who restore, refit, lengthen, re-bottom, re-engine, re-paint etc and provide boatyard facilities. Five Towns Boatbuilding www.fuller28.freeserve.co.uk is Roger Fuller's website, the well known narrowboat builder. As well as information on the boats he builds there is an interesting section on historic narrowboats, which is well worth a look.
Now that the South Pennine Ring is open as a cruising route I thought it would be a good time to look at the related web sites. Lock 92 www.lock92.co.uk is a site covering the Rochdale, Huddersfield Narrow and Ashton Canals with plenty of photographs. The South Pennine Ring www.southpenninering.co.uk is the official BW site for canals in this area with lots of restoration and environmental information and pictures. Pennine Waterways www.penninewaterways.co.uk covers the Peak Forest Canal as well as the Ashton, Rochdale and Huddersfield Canals that form part of the South Pennine Ring. This was site of the month back in January 2001. The Huddersfield Canal Web Cam www.tameside.gov.uk/corpgen/webcam6.htm gives a view from Stalybridge Regeneration Office looking east over Armentieres Square and showed progress on the canal restoration but now the view seems to be rarely updated. Shire Cruisers www.shirecruisers.co.uk hire boats based at Sowerby Bridge are often seen on the Rochdale Canal and provided the first hire boat to navigate the restored Huddersfield Narrow Canal. One hire base on the Huddersfield Narrow is Otter - Day Boat Hire www.otter.ontheweb.nu a self-steer canal day boat hire for up to 12 people, based at Stalybridge. Standedge Visitor Centre www.standedge.co.uk is based in an 18th century transhipment warehouse, and offers an exciting guided boat trip into the tunnel. The final mention must go to the Huddersfield Canal Society. www.hcanals.demon.co.uk who for over 25 years led the restoration campaign and volunteer activities. Their site gives the history of the canal and the efforts that went into the reopening of the navigation.
Site of the Month
George's Canal Boating in the UK and Europe www.canals.com is surely the granddaddy of all of the waterways web sites and one that has retained a prominent and well respected position. Started in 1995 by George Pearson the site describes itself as "an introduction for those unfamiliar with the pleasures of canal and waterway cruising, as well as a resource for experienced boaters". It also rightly claims to still be comprehensive and non-commercial. When the site started, before music, animation and video clips were commonplace on the web, the site confined itself to text, so that it was available to the maximum number of internet users. Today there are a few photographs on the site but it's still mainly a plain text site relying on the breadth and detail of the information offered to attract visitors. The home page is a list of links to other pages within the site and gives a good idea of the range of subjects covered. Going deeper down into the subordinate pages will often reveal an unexpected amount of information. As the pages are not cluttered with menu bars, logos and other byte hungry gizmos you will find that they load quickly - even via your mobile phone.
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.