New websites of boat owners start this months selection with Jemima II www.alanjwhite.clara.net the story of commissioning a boat in 2001 and of voyages in subsequent years, and Double Dutch www.doubledutch.me.uk produced by a Dutch couple who discover the charm of the canals on a weeks holiday on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal soon after moving to England. Seventeen years later they buy a narrowboat to live on and cruise the UK canals. Boaters who appreciate cabin crochet may find something of interest at English Crafts www.englishcrafts.co.uk that features the work of Elizabeth Bryant, an accredited Master of Crochet and Cabin Lace in the Waterways Craft Guild, who now continues this tradition, making crochet nets in a wide variety of traditional and original designs. Another craft based site is Bewdley Pipes & Pottery www.bewdleytown.co.uk/claypipes making replica clay pipes, a range of narrowboat models hand painted in the styles of the traditional carrying companies and other canal related objects.
Goole Boathouse www.gooleboathouse.com is located in a basin beside the Aire & Calder Canal which was formerly used for storage of timber. It offers moorings and the usual boatyard services. The Canal Shop - Whilton Chandlery http://canalshoponline.co.uk is situated at Whilton Marina alongside the bottom lock of the Buckby Flight of the Grand Union Canal. Swapaboat www.swapaboat.com claims to be "The UK's Premier Inland Waterway Boat Exchange Site" and may well be - I only know of one other site in this category. It offers like-minded boaters opportunities to exchange holiday times on their boats. It is certainly a well constructed site with a lot of information. Concluding this section is Canal Walks http://pennine.port5.com that gives details of various walks along the Lancashire side of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
Jannock homepage http://website.lineone.net/~familykeens/ was first mentioned on this page in December 2001 but now has a useful new facility that you may like to know about. The "Police Numbers" option on the navigation bar displays a list of Police Headquarters Non-Emergency telephone numbers for all the forces in the UK. I also had another look at
Jannel Cruisers www.jannel.co.uk the well known hire boat and marina services company based at Shobnall Marina, Burton upon Trent. As well as all the product and services related pages they have an interesting History page covering the local waterways including the little known Bond End Canal that ran through the site of the marina. Our site of the month in June 2002 was Canal Junction www.canaljunction.co.uk a long established commercial site that continues to be one of the best general waterways information and service finder sites on the web. This is one of the few sites that has managed to integrate editorial material with advertising in a user-friendly way. The last time I mentioned Peter Hardcastle's Roots & Routes www.canalroutes.org site was in May 2003 when he withdrew his site for various reasons, technical and otherwise. I am glad to report that his new improved site has now been back on-line for some months.
Site of the Month
The Old Union Canals Society www.oldunioncanalssociety.freeserve.co.uk was founded in 1964 to promote all aspects of canals particularly the two local 'Union' canals, the Old Union (the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union) from Leicester to Market Harborough, and the original Grand Union from Foxton to Norton Junction. The canals covered are now all part of the Grand Union Leicester Section and are shown on a map on the site's Canal section. This section also has photographs of the locks, instructions on how to operate the staircase flights, pages on the Foxton locks and inclined plane and recent photographs of the canal. The waterways past is covered in seven pages in the History section. A look at the Society section reveals an active organisation that has regular meetings, a bimonthly journal called "Union", and an active interest in various projects. They also produce other publications about their waterways.
This is a site that meets all the key criteria of the best websites: good content, easy navigation, consistent style, clear uncluttered pages and an excellent use of photographs and graphics to enhance the text. It is also a site that is built using straightforward HTML with no add-ons or gizmos so it is a model for anyone setting up a website.
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