There are a great variety of waterway sites on the web a fact illustrated by this month's list of sites that are new to me. Canalpix www.canalpix.co.uk is a photographic library devoted to the canals and inland waterways of England and Wales. It contains galleries with pictures in the categories: aqueducts, bridges, buildings, cruising, junctions, locks, oddities, tunnels and wildlife. Reed Boats www.reedboats.co.uk feature the hotel narrow boats, Oak and Ash, which are new for 2004. Details of the boats, cruise plans and other details appear on the site. The Portsmouth to London Canal www.portcanal.co.uk presents a history of this waterway, which was built across Portsmouth Island during the 1800s to provide a canal link to London. The IWA Peterborough Branch www.iwapeterborough.org.uk is the third branch of the Inland Waterways Association to have established a separate site, the other two being the Northampton and Ipswich branches. As I am the webmaster for this site I will not comment any further on it. Also in East Anglia we have Hartford Marina www.hartfordmarina.co.uk situated on the Great Ouse near Huntingdon. This offers a range of services for boaters as well as providing houseboats and waterside lodges. A smaller site in the region is Bill Fen Marina www.billfenmarina.co.uk at Ramsey in the Middle Levels where there are attractively priced marina moorings.
The Saltisford Canal Trust www.saltisfordcanal.co.uk is a registered charity responsible for the Saltisford Arm of the Grand Union Canal. This is all that remains of the Warwick terminus of the Warwick and Birmingham Canal and was derelict before being restored by the Trust between 1982 and 1988. Inland Waterways Cruising School www.cruisingschool.co.uk is based on Narrowboat Enigma moored in Stourport Basin, at Stourport upon Severn, who run one-day helmsman courses. The Coventry Rainbow Canal Trust www.ladygodiva.org.uk provide days out and short break holidays for anyone, but particularly for adults and children with disabilities, on the narrowboat "Lady Godiva". The site gives details of the trust and the services it offers. Waterways in England & Wales www.sunrisewoodcrafts.ns.ca/fh/waterways.htm is an introduction and guide for genealogists who are researching people who lived and worked on the waterways.
We conclude with three personal sites. Narrowboat Lucyanna www.lucyanna.co.uk has been set up to detail the building and fitting out of a narrowboat that is currently being built.
Chris & Dot's Boating Adventures 2003 www.geocities.com/chrisgoslingafloat/ has assorted tales from their summer afloat on the English canals in 2003 on the narrow-beam motor cruiser Catcho. Our Canalboat Honeymoon www.domni.com/Wedpage/Honeymoon/index.htm has a slideshow of a brief honeymoon on a narrowboat. An American bride and an Australian groom take to the Kennet & Avon Canal a day after their wedding. The site consists mainly of an automated slide show of still photographs and (for those on broadband or with great patience) a series of video clips.
Site of the Month
Up the Cut www.upthecut.co.uk is a site that focuses on the canals around Birmingham and the Black Country but is starting to expand further afield. Although the site is geographically restricted it spreads far and wide in the range of information it covers. There is a very good animation that explains the working of a lock and an interactive map of the Birmingham Canal Navigations that allows the visitor to select any combination features to be shown from a list that consists of locks, tunnels, wildlife, buildings, leisure, fishing and photographs. There are the pages you would expect from this type of site, such as Canal History, Tunnels, Canal Carriers and a large selection of photographs which can be accessed for each canal covered. In addition there are some pages that are more unusual such as Canal Art, Fishing, and Wildlife. All the pages have good layout and informative text supplemented by an excellent standard of graphics and photographs. Other features that I liked were canal engineers, a collection of postcards and a series of pages on various canalside pubs. There is also a section covering historic houses, news and a canal quiz. I will not try to list all the site contents because these are pages that repay some leisurely browsing as one link leads to another taking us from page to page of this interesting site.
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