A good crop of sites that are new to me have appeared this month. Weaver Valley Cruises www.wvcc.co.uk is the first of three restaurant trip boats that I have added to my list of waterway sites. They offer cruises on the River Weaver from Acton Bridge to the Anderton Boat Lift. I discovered the website of City Centre Cruises www.citycentrecruises.co.uk while moored at Castlefield in Manchester city centre. The wide-beamed boat L.S. Lowry appeared with the URL painted on its side. A look at the informative pages provides full details of restaurant and hospitality facilities available. In the centre of the capital London Canal Cruises www.londoncanalcruises.com/ is offering exclusive private charter daytrips on London's Regents Canal aboard the 45 foot narrowboat Helix. You are invited to see London from angles rarely reached by others, while enjoying first-class hospitality and cuisine.
If you want a self-drive hire cruiser on the Yorkshire Ouse then York Marine Services www.yorkmarine.co.uk is the only place to go. They have a fleet of holiday cruisers that sleep from 2-4 up to 8 people and are available for weekly hire or short breaks. They also provide boating services, boat sales, a caravan park and day-hire boats.
A recent email enquiry about River Thames tide times on the web prompted me to look at the Port of London Authority www.portoflondon.co.uk site, where I found tide tables available as Adobe pdf files. The site also has information for maritime, commercial and leisure users as well as information about the PLA.
The Waterways Book Service www.belmont1948.co.uk is a retail book supplier that is part of the Belmont Group. This also includes the Belmont Press, publishers and book wholesalers although the retail side of the business offers a much wider range of books.
Newport in Gwent may not have a recent history of narrowboat building, its canal having been closed many years ago, but steel has been an important part of the local economy for many years. The Newport Narrowboat Company www.newportnarrowboats.co.uk has recently been founded by Peter Wylie and Tony Swift who are long serving platers with over 40 years experience in heavy engineering in the construction of marine vessels from small narrowboats to large oil tankers. The new company provides boats at all stages of construction from a standard hull, sail away, lined cabin or fully fitted craft.
Steve Wood has a site called www.bream.org that is mainly about Fellows, Morton & Clayton Fish Class boats and his own live aboard boat Bream, which is the first of the class. There is a table of all the boats in the class with links to other sites and sources of information dealing with historic working boats.
Finally, for the increasing number of online shoppers, Canal Cargo www.canalcargo.co.uk will tempt you with canal maps and cruising guides, books, videos, gifts, chandlery and other canal items.
Site of the Month
Andy Matthews' site A. M. Models http://ammodels.4t.com/ features various model narrowboats, locks and bridges that can be bought from the site. In this respect the site is no different from many others having canal related goods for sale but this site also has some unique content that will be of value to anyone interested in historic working boats. Andy has tried to draw together as much information as possible on working narrowboats and lists the boats under the companies to which they belonged - Thomas Clayton, BCN Carriers, Samuel Barlow, etc. In each of these lists details are given against each boat name of the fleet number, source from which the boat was acquired , date it entered the fleet, registration details, date registered and further information such as what happened to it or its current location. While these lists are not comprehensive they are extensive - there are over ninety entries on the Thomas Clayton page alone and there are nine similar sized pages listing the boats of other companies. As far as I know this site contains the best listing of historic working narrowboats on the web. The site also has photos of old working boats. A under used section of the site is a series of pages where you can post comments relating to general news, carrying news, boats spotted, boats for sale, wanted items or services or anything else.
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.