Amongst the websites that have come to my notice this month are five personal sites. The first is Cutworks www.cutworks1xs.btinternet.co.uk the story of a boat of that name being stretched from 51 to 70 feet at Measham Boats during the period from December 2002 to January 2003. The opening page relates the process using lots of pictures - most of which I haven't seen as they took so long to download on my mobile phone link. Lisa's Narrow Boat Page www.staffs-higashi.org.uk/narrowboat%20index.htm written by Lisa Rogers is about how she and her partner - both new to the cut - abandoned their house and decided to live on a narrowboat. This is mainly a text based site but punctuated by some amusing little graphics. Gypsy Rover http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/gypsyrover/ is the home page of Derek and Dot Canvin from Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand who are building a narrowboat to live and cruise on the canals during their retirement. This site has far more "bells and whistles" including waving flags, scrolling title and music. I'd Rather be Narrow Boating http://groups.msn.com/IdRatherbeNarrowBoating/ deals with life aboard a newly acquired narrowboat. It also has sections with boat related items for sale and wanted. The Build of Taranaki http://members.lycos.co.uk/taranaki/ is a small site covering the building of the narrowboat Taranaki from the 10th January 2003 when the first sheet of steel was placed for her 60ft shell until the summer of 2003 when she was handed over to her owner.
Bedford River www.bedford-river.co.uk is another fairly small site devoted to the River Great Ouse. The Oxford Canal Website http://freespace.virgin.net/art.2000/OxfordCanal/index.htm is a larger site which came into existence in January 2000 and was designed specifically to provide a new independent resource for the Oxford Canal and the surrounding area. The Lancaster Canal, History and Information www.alucard.co.uk/lancaster/maindex.htm is the third website covering this canal, now linked to the rest of the waterways system by the Ribble Link. On the Macclesfield Canal is The Trading Post www.canaltradingpost.com a business open for 7 days a week selling everything from generators to tea, coffee and ices. The Jolly Roger Boat Company www.jrbc.freeserve.co.uk site claims to answer all of your canal boating questions if you are new to canal boating, building your own boat or want information on the Boat Safety Certificate. They also provide Surveys and Boat Safety Inspections, Council Hire Boat Inspections and RYA Inland Waterways Courses. The Marine Warehouse www.lifejackets.co.uk is the UK's leading online lifejacket store and the only online lifejacket store that I know of. Tim Hobbs www.t.hobbs1.btinternet.co.uk is a traditional signwriter and canal-ware painter. His site shows how even the smallest business can produce effective web pages demonstrating their products and services. The Caravan & Boat Seat Cover Centre www.cbscc.co.uk supply the owners of touring caravans, motor caravans, static holiday caravans and boats of all types - particularly narrow boats and other inland motor boats. They have 18 people working for them and a picture of each one appears on the site.
Site of the Month
The Boat Museum www.boatmuseum.org.uk at Ellesmere Port has been an outstanding waterways museum for many years and has a well established website. Like most sites this has developed over the years and now gives the potential visitor a good idea of the quality and scope of the collection at Ellesmere Port. The Collections section of the site has the sub-divisions: Boat Collection, Archives, Thesaurus and Search the catalogue. Looking through these pages gives a virtual tour in words and photographs. An overview of the whole physical site at Ellesmere Port is given on the Around the Site page that cleverly combines a pictorial map with pictures in an interactive way. The Events page has a wide range of activities for adults and children including the museums well known traditional narrowboat painting courses. Other sections of the site are Visitor Information, Conference Facilities, Education, The Boat Museum Society and Links. Everything on the site is presented on well designed pages with a good balance of text, photographs and graphics. The pages are easy to navigate and provide enough interest to keep one browsing for longer than expected.
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