A Broad View
Having returned from boating, where all my internet access is via a mobile phone, one of my first tasks was to get a new broadband connection installed for my home PC. The difference in speed is the equivalent of coming out of Standedge Tunnel to find yourself carried down the Trent on a spring tide. The consequence was that I whizzed around the web and found the following sites.
Bridgewater Boatbuilders www.bridgewaterboatbuilders.co.uk the narrowboat builder based at Worsley is the first of a small group of boat construction companies that now have web sites. Nearby are Triton Boat Fitters www.tritonboatfitters.co.uk based in Eccles, Manchester and further south Kingsground Narrowboats www.kingsground.co.uk boat fitters based at Upper Heyford with moorings at Enslow on the Oxford Canal.
We also have a good crop of personal pages, headed by Narrowboat Swallow www.nb-swallow.co.uk with photographs of this shared boat. Rainmakers on Narrowboat Jade http://showcase.netins.net/web/travelgenie/rainjade is an American couple's personal account of their 1997 travels in England in the form of a detailed narrative and photographs. Aborigine Homepage www.aborigine.demon.co.uk takes its name from the narrowboat Aborigine. Narrowboat Red & Gold www.stuart-barry.co.uk/Red%20&%20Gold.htm concerns the construction of a narrowboat shown at the IWA Waterways Festival at Waltham Abbey in 2000. More weighty reading is The Booze Cruise www.bobulous.net a 30,000-word account of a canal boat holiday with six people, which also has over 100 photographs. NB Fulbourne www.fulbourne.org.uk is the history and photographs of this historic working boat while Roy's Home Page www.roycollingwood.co.uk deals with a more recent 53- foot narrowboat Nirvana moored on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. Planet Melling www.nbrosie.moonfruit.com is the website of John Melling and his narrowboat Rosie. Narrowboat Berenice http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gavin.parkes/ shares the story of Narrowboat Berenice, a 57ft traditional styled narrowboat. Not all these personal web sites feature the owners' boats. My Black Country www.myblackcountry.com contains various photo tours along the many canals around the Black Country area.
Beverley Beck On-Line www.geocities.com/beverleybeck/ covers the Beverley Beck Canal, which joins the River Hull near the historic town of Beverley. The River Bann and Lough Neagh Association www.riverbannloughneagh.org is a branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland and River Thames - R.I.P www.btinternet.com/~len.crickmar/ is a site concerned that all access points to the tidal river are being blocked off by developers. Also in the London area is London's Inland Waterways http://members.lycos.co.uk/michael_lennox/index.html a towpath and cruising guide and The Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal www.sloughcanal.org.uk supports the regeneration of the canal. Sussex Waterways www.sussex.co.uk/waterways/ has information on the river navigations and canals of Sussex and is part of a larger Sussex County Website. The Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust www.sxouse.org.uk promotes conservation, restoration of navigation above Lewes, protection of the river's banks and wildlife, and educational and leisure use. The Association of Canal Enterprises www.aceweb.org.uk represents commercial interests along the Kennet & Avon Canal and has useful directories of various services. AboutBoats.co.uk http://aboutboats.co.uk is a one-stop source for information on Inland Waterways covering all the UK.
Timeshare seems an increasingly popular means of getting afloat. Carefree Cruising www.carefreecruising.com is a new narrowboat shared ownership scheme and Shakespeare Classic Line Limited www.timeshareboats.uki.net offers a fleet of timeshare narrowboats based at Barton Turns Marina.
Lymm Marina Boat Sales www.lmbs.co.uk is located on the Bridgewater Canal and on the Somerset Coal Canal is The Bath & Dundas Canal Co www.bathcanal.com marina and boat hire. Busy Boats www.busyboats.com have cruises along the Grand Union Canal, from their base at Bugbrooke and The Bristol Packet www.bristolpacket.co.uk run boat trips between Bath and the Bristol Channel, including Bristol's Floating Harbour. The finishing touches to the new sites come from Andy Russell www.btinternet.com/~boatpainter/index.htm a traditional boat painter and signwriter and Jane Selkirk www.jane-selkirk.co.uk painter of traditional hand painted canalware.
Site of the Month
Lock 92 www.lock92.co.uk covers the Ashton, Peak Forest, Macclesfield, Huddersfield Narrow, Rochdale and the eastern side of the Leeds & Liverpool canals. For each canal we can either choose photographs from a list or follow the route of the canal. Each photograph has an informative text and a space for you to add your comments. Previous comments about the photo are displayed. There are also many other ways of accessing the pictures, for example wildlife scenes, latest photos, aqueducts, tunnels, mills, junctions etc. In addition there is a search facility so that you can select your own keyword to find the pictures you want; a map of the area from which the canal of interest can be selected and links to other sites. Another feature of the site is the ability to register to receive notice of the latest updates. In all this is a site with plenty of features and some good photographs that do not take too long to download. Why is it called Lock 92? That is another question answered on the site.
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