Canal Diaries.com www.canaldiaries.com is a new site that aims to be a place where waterways holiday and trip experiences can be captured for others to enjoy. It has a forum section for the exchange of views and is inviting people to submit Trip Reports and Articles to the site. If you would like to share your experiences but don't want to set up your own website this type of site is ideal. Another new site dealing with canals in general is Just Canals www.justcanals.com, which also has ambitions to give lots of helpful information related to Britain's inland waterways. The site has a section on cruises, a photo gallery and an online shop.
More specialist new sites include Classic Canal Videos www.classiccanalvideos.co.uk who have a small range of DVDs and Videos on canal subjects and Norfolk Broads Crewed Cruising www.ncsl.co.uk/broads offering holidays on
crewed boats on the Broads. I have known about the Boaters Phone Company www.boatersphone.com for a number of years but have only recently discovered their website. This is a source for everything you need to know about using mobile communications while travelling on the waterways or improving signals in buildings. It also has a section on connecting to the internet through a mobile phone. Acorn Engineering www.acornengineer.com were founded in 1986 and became involved in narrowboat electrical systems, manufacturing the Kestrel alternator controller. Natural growth saw the company activity expand into the supply of narrowboat equipment in general and now they have a very large retail catalogue for such equipment.
Khayamanzi www.khayamanzi.moonfruit.com is the site of Andrew Edwards who lives on his narrowboat Khayamanzi, which means "home on the water" in the Zulu language. He lives aboard his 55 foot residential boat moored in Trinity Marina at Hinckley on the Ashby Canal. A picture of Khayamanzi also appears on the website of www.ukcanal.co.uk a company that provides Andrew with a broadband connection aboard his boat and which was mentioned on this page in the February issue. Another narrowboat with a name that needs translating is Glas y Dorlan www.ian.jeremiah.ukgateway.net which is Welsh for Kingfisher. It is the boat of Ian and Josephine Jeremiah and has featured on the cover of Nicholson/OS inland Waterways Map of Great Britain and of three magazines. Ian and Josephine Jeremiah also have another site at www.ianandjo.dsl.pipex.com which was mentioned here back in February 2001.
Two new hotel boat sites are Hotel Narrowboat Leonora www.hotelboatleonora.co.uk a 53 foot long traditional narrowboat taking two guests and Bywater Holiday Cruises www.bywaterholidays.co.uk where guests travel on the 70 foot narrowboat Tsanna during the day and are accommodated off the boat in hotels at night, usually in the same hotel every night.
Site of the Month
The Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust www.lhcrt.org.uk was formed in 1988 to campaign for the restoration of the Lichfield Canal (originally called the Ogley Locks Section of the Wyrley and Essington Canal) and the Hatherton Canal (or Hatherton branch of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal). The reopening of these canals would provide a through route to the north of Birmingham that was lost fifty years ago. The Trust is well known for its high profile and effective work which has kept the project in the forefront of restoration schemes.
As so often happens the website reflects the vigour of its organisation and here we have a wealth of information displayed on pages with a simple layout, clear typeface and graphics and photographs that punch home the message. There is nothing lightweight about this site with plenty of pages that cover every aspect of the Trusts work from the people running the organisation to working parties and from the history of the canals to items in their newsletter, Cut Both Ways. If you want to see how a website can be used for fund-raising this is an ideal case-study. No opportunity is lost to invite the visitor to join the Regular Giving Scheme or donate to the Brick Appeal - all major credit and debit cards accepted. Of course they have an on-line shop that includes some unique Lichfield & Hatherton products and various membership options. But don't think that just because you have signed up your whole family for life membership that you have done your bit - you still need to enrol your dog, cat, rabbit, guinea-pig, hamster or other animal as life members of the Pets Club for only £5 each.
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