Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
This article Clicking on Canals No 28 is the copyright of Jim Shead - The twenty-eighth of a regular series of articles on waterways on the internet. First published in Waterways World May 2003.
by Jim Shead
Lost and Found
When this page first appeared over two years ago I knew of 230 waterway related websites and now I have over 650 listed on my Links pages at www.jim-shead.com but the number may be reaching a plateau as the expansion seems to have slowed. It's not that there are no new sites being set up, rather the steady stream of new websites each month seem to be balanced by the number of sites that have been withdrawn. Some of the lost sites are due to firms going out of business. This usually results in the swift demise of the website although on one occasion pages for a hire boat company remained on the net for two years after they had ceased trading. We have also lost some good non-commercial pages including Peter Hardcastle's Roots & Routes, which was our Site of the Month in June 2001. Peter felt he had to withdraw his site because he couldn't keep up with the number of changes taking place on the waterways as well as keeping up with many technical changes that were required to the site. I know that many people have missed this site and will hope it may reappear at some time in the future.
On the plus side are Boats to Go www.boatstogo.co.uk an advertising site for buying or selling all types of boat and River Lee Cruises www.riverleecruises.co.uk who operate the Lady of Lee Valley on charter cruises. As well as some attractive pictures of boating on the Lee they have a selection of tempting menus. Adding to the fifty plus boatbuilders and fitters with web pages is David Thomas Boat Builder www.davidthomas-boatbuilder.co.uk a new site with examples of his traditional and Dutch-style narrowboats. The Forth and Clyde Canal Society http://freespace.virgin.net/m.woods/index.htm was formed in 1980 to campaign for the canal's restoration and now has a website showing how far they have come and gives details of their boats and future events. Narrowboat Raymond www.narrowboat-raymond.org.uk tells the story of the last wooden butty to be built at Braunston and probably the last wooden working boat built anywhere. There are photographs of the restoration and of Raymond taking part in a re-enactment of the Jam 'Ole Run. The Wendover Canal Festival www.tringcanalfestival.org.uk is organised by the Wendover Arm Trust and is an event that has two names as most local people call it the Tring Canal Festival.
If you are thinking about fitting-out your own boat you may be interested to see how others have tackled the task so I have picked out a few of the personal sites that cover this. The Antidote www.theantidote.info is a 63 foot semi-trad narrowboat that was professionally built and fitted out but has a full description of the process with layouts and lots of photographs. Nb Major Tom www.nbmajortom.com a 67-foot liveaboard narrowboat, Uisce FloatingAbode www.floatingabode.co.uk a 57 foot traditional style narrowboat, The Cat's Whiskers www.chrisandbev.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/catswhiskers/home.htm a 48 foot cruiser style narrowboat and the smaller Narrowboat Isabella www.nb.isabella.btinternet.co.uk were all fitted out by their owners. Narrowboat Willow http://mysite.freeserve.com/willow05 was a 33-foot hire boat built in 1980 which has been completely refitted. All these sites are packed with photos, layouts and details of the building process. Other personal pages concerned with boat layout and design are Narrowboat Red & Gold www.stuart-barry.co.uk/Red & Gold.htm with photographs of the building of a narrowboat shown at the IWA Festival at Waltham Abbey in 2000 and N. B. Whisper www.nbwhisper.com with information on the technical design and interior design of the boat, which was one of the Warble exhibits at the Braunston Boat Show in May 1999.
Site of the Month
There are a lot of good personal pages on the web and so it should not come as a surprise that I have selected another personal website as site of the month. With so many quality sites the competition is fierce but David Kitching's canal pages at www.brocross.com/canal/canal.htm are unusual in that they concentrate on the history of the Ashton, Macclesfield and Peak Forest canals and contain a lot of historic photographs. The canal section of the site is mainly about the boats, trade and traffics on these waterways but David's site also has a lot of other information about local history and dragonflies. The canal section of the site includes pages on Canal Boat Inspection at Macclesfield in the 1930's, Boathouses on the Macclesfield Canal and Steam Boats on the Macclesfield Canal in the 1830's. The Company's Boats page also has a long list of the maintenance boats used between 1853 and 1948. It is not a large site but you will find information here that is not available elsewhere on the web. I am always looking for interesting sites with some unique content and this one fits the bill.
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.
River Lee Crusies.
The Cat's Whiskers.
Please note: the above links were correct when this article was
published in the May 2003 issue of Waterways World but for up to
date links please see my links page.
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Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.