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Wednesday 8 June

Today's news from the web

  • Car driver's body found in canal after collision near Chester crewechronicle.co.uk

    A 60-year-old man has been found dead in the canal near Marbury. A passer-by made the discovery at 9am on Friday and alerted the police. Officers discovered the man’s vehicle, an N-registered Ford Fiesta, on the A49 at Quiosley Bridge adjacent to the Shropshire Union canal. The car appeared to have collided with a telegraph pole....

  • Plans revealed for navigable waterway in Maidenhead maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk

    A public consultation has been launched on multi-million pound plans to create a navigable waterway around Maidenhead's town centre. Maidenhead Waterways Restoration Group (MWRG) has spent the last four years working on the scheme and is now just weeks away from submitting a planning application. The charitable trust's aim is to create a two kilometre 'ring' of water around the town which can be used by small boats and canoeists. It is expected to reduce flood risk and make the area more attractive to developers....

  • Cotswold Canals Trust reaches 6,000-member milestone cotswoldcanals.com

    Joe Cooper and his Nederlands born partner Ineke Tijsma from Stroud recently became family members of the Cotswold Canals Trust. This brings the membership count to 6000. The couple recently moved from London and now live in Lodgemore Close, Stroud. They are expecting their first child in July. Joe works for Ad Hoc Property Management in Bristol. Joe explained, "We came down from London because of work. We love Stroud and especially enjoy walking the canal"....


Sunday 5 June

Today's news from the web

  • Travel expert Christian Wolmar steps into the Regent’s Canal towpath row islingtontribune.com

    Holloway man Christian Wolmar urged cyclists riding along the Regent’s Canal in Islington to slow down as they approach walkers. He also suggested signs be installed reminding cyclists to ring their bell when they overtake people on foot. At the same time Mr Wolmar said he was not in favour of a ban on cyclists from the towpath and added that walkers must not assume they are the only ones with the right to be there....

  • Body pulled from [Llangollen] Shropshire Union Canal shropshirestar.com

    A body has been pulled from the Shropshire Union Canal on the north Shropshire border, police said today. The body of the man, who was in his 60s but has not yet been named, was discovered yesterday [Friday] morning north of Whitchurch. Police were called to reports of a body in the water between Willeymoor Lock and Quoisley Bridge, where the A49 crosses the canal, at about 9am....

  • Forgotten Croydon waterway marks [200th anniversary] milestone croydonguardian.co.uk

    History buffs celebrated the 200th anniversary of Croydon’s canal, which became a financial disaster. In 1799 it was decided Croydon needed a canal to link the growing town to London. The waterway was authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1801, but it took two further Acts in 1808 and 1811 to raise the funds to complete the work. Even so, the canal was a financial failure and it closed after 27 years, when the £100 shares decreased in value until they were worth just two shillings in 1830....

  • Historic Lindsay and Keppel narrowboats handed over to volunteers thisisstaffordshire.co.uk

    Two historic boats have been handed oven to volunteers at Etruria Industrial Museum to restore. The narrowboats, named Lindsay and Keppel, used to ferry clay china and other materials from Weston Point Docks at Runcorn to Stoke-on-Trent; then return with the completed pottery or transport coal from Sideways Colliery to Middlewich. The boats will now be restored by volunteers and used as an educational resource at the museum....

  • Body found bound and hooded in Coventry Canal was missing mother dailymail.co.uk

    A hooded and bound body of a woman found a canal was that of a missing young mother, police confirmed today. Emma Ewart, 27, disappeared from her home nine days before a passer-by made the grim discovery in the Coventry Canal between Bedworth and Bulkington in Warwickshire....

  • What a water-way for (Bedford & Milton Keynes) canal scheme to win bedfordtoday.co.uk

    A project to build a canal between Bedford and Milton Keynes made a splash at the Waterways Renaissance awards, after picking up two gongs. The scheme won first place for strategy and masterplanning, and also picked up an award for outstanding achievement. It was also runner-up in the partnership category. Helen Carey, chairman of the assessment panel, said: “This is a very inspiring project, mostly because so many people have said over the years that it couldn’t or wouldn’t ever be done....


Saturday 4 June

Today's news from the web

  • Boy dies after falling into canal at Stourport-on-Severn birminghammail.net

    A teenage boy has died after plunging 20 feet into a canal at a West Midland beauty spot. The boy, thought to be aged 13, fell into the locks near the former Tontine pub at Stourport-on-Severn in Worcestershire at around midday yesterday. ...


Friday 3 June

Today's news from the web

  • Manchester Ship Canal day-trippers marooned when £11m MediaCity bridge fails menmedia.co.uk

    Almost 300 day trippers were marooned on a cruise ship in Salford Quays for more than an hour after a new £11m bridge failed to open properly. The boat was left stranded a few hundred yards from its destination because a technical problem with the new MediaCity swing bridge meant it could not pass through to dock. ...

  • Bridge provides new link for the River Lee and beyond waterscape.com

    A new 10.6 tonne bridge has been craned into place as part of a scheme that will reconnect the River Lee Navigation towpath, currently severed by the busy A11/A12 crossing in Bow, East London. The new scheme will enable walkers and cyclists to travel uninterrupted from the River Thames over 28-miles to the Olympic Park and on into the Hertfordshire countryside. The £2.4million scheme is being funded by British Waterways, London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, the Olympic Delivery Authority, Transport for London, Design for London and Walk London....

  • Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant registration opens thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org

    At high water in the afternoon of Sunday 3 June 2012, up to a thousand boats muster on the River Thames in preparation for Her Majesty The Queen to lead the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. It will be one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river. Rowed boats and working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes will be beautifully dressed with streamers and Union Jacks, their crews and passengers turned out in their finest rigs. The armed forces, fire, police, rescue and other services are all afloat and there are an exuberance of historic boats, wooden launches, steam vessels and other boats of note....


Thursday 2 June

World's first floating ice cream boat

National Ice Cream Week (30th May - 5th June) might not have seemed the most boaty of PR events, especially because it clashed with the Crick Boat Show

But that was before ice cream maker Frederick's hit upon the idea of a floating ice cream van. 

Along with its home-made ice creams made at the canalside parlour near Adlington, Frederick's also makes ice creams under contract for Cadbury's, among others. It was the Cadbury connection which financed the new HMS Flake 99 ('Licenced To Chill'), launched to an amused press last week when it sailed up the Thames for a photocall. 

Fredericks say they hope to get it on the canals this summer, although British Waterways hasn't yet received a licence application.  With a width of up to 7'6" it classes as a widebeam, so you are unlikely to see it in the narrow canals. 



The basic craft is made by amphibious vehicle specialist Mike Ryan of SeaRoader. He says the underlying vehicle is their 'military model', which uses a Landrover Defender 110 FWD body, driven by a 200 TDi engine. It has a 2ft draft, with an 'axle drop' of approximately 18" more. It took him a month to build. I didn't dare ask the price.  

The basic vehicle was supplied to movie special effects company Hothouse, who created the 'ice cream' body and added two 8hp Yamaha high-torque outboards. Mike Ryan said he had recommended at least a 70hp engine and was pleasantly surprised that the 8hp outboards performed so well.

Mike Ryan does not know if any of his craft have yet been used on the canals, but says that if there wasn't enough water depth to float, they could probably just drive along.  Of course, it would need slipways, at both the start and end. 

Frederick's shop, incidentally, is a marvellous place to stop for real home-made ice cream if you are doing the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. It's 5 mins from Bridge 73, Heath Charnock, about 6 miles north of Wigan top lock. You'll probably have to walk, as I'm assuming your own narrowboat isn't amphibious. 

Andrew Denny  | 2.36pm


Today's news from the web

  • Trip of a lifetime for Fenland couple as they retire, sell up and set sail on narrow boat wisbechstandard.co.uk

    A married couple waved goodbye to 20 years of living in Fenland today to go on a trip of a lifetime on board a narrow boat. Steve and Ann Bollard, both 58, moved to March in 1992 but will be leaving on the Majikk Jack on Thursday to sail round the UK using the canal networks after retiring early....

  • Noah's Ark 'could arrive in London for Olympics' telegraph.co.uk

    A giant recreation of Noah's Ark could be moored in the River Thames during the London 2012 Olympics. Johan Huibers, an eccentric Dutch Christian, has spent around £1 million building the "Ark" after dreaming about a great flood sweeping Holland. He saw the dream as a signal to spread God's message. The vessel is 450ft long and 75ft wide and will be stuffed with pairs of model animals, while an aviary with free-flying live birds will take up most of the enormous deck house....

  • Value of Britain’s trees and waterways calculated in 'ground-breaking' study telegraph.co.uk

    The UK National Ecosystems Assessment (NEA) puts a price on the economic, health and social benefits provided by the natural world. Its authors believe such benefits are usually taken for granted and are therefore making the case for protecting nature in financial terms. The study shows that the health benefits of living with a view of green space are worth up to £300 per person per year while living close to rivers, lakes or the coast is worth up to £1.3 billion annually to the UK....


Wednesday 1 June

BW appoints professional fundraiser

After announcing last week the eight 'transition' trustees who are going to oversee its move to becoming the new waterways charity, British Waterways has announced its next key appointment - a professional fundraiser.

Ruth Ruderham comes from Christian Aid, where she is said to have helped them grow their income to beyond £100m for the first time in their history. She also previously worked at Friends of the Earth and Crisis. In 2005 she was named Professional Fundraiser of the Year for her work at Crisis.

Simon Salem, director of marketing at BW, said that voluntary fundraising will be a vital part of the new organisation and that they had sought a fundraiser with an outstanding record in fundraising growth, strategy and income.

"She will lead the waterways charity into a new era of voluntary giving. It’s one of the most exciting fundraising challenges around right now.”

Ruth Ruderham said : “It is an incredible privilege to be the first fundraiser the new charity will ever employ. The plans that British Waterways have already developed are really exciting and I can't wait to start recruiting supporters of this unique and important cause.”

Ruth will be responsible for further developing a fundraising strategy initially devised with the help of charity fundraising consultants Think Consulting.


Ruth Ruderham 

Ruth Ruderham was a speaker at last year's International Fundraising Conference, speaking on behalf of Christian Aid.  Here she gives a 30sec overview of what a fundraiser's role now is: 

"We know that our job as fundraisers isn't just to raise money any more, it's about engaging people in the brand, whether they want to give time or money, whether they want to campaign with you."  

Andrew Denny  | 11.22am


Monday 30 May

Today's news from the web

  • Crick Boat Show pulls in the crowds again northamptonchron.co.uk

    Thousands of people flocked to the annual Crick Boat Show and Waterways Festival, held at Crick Marina over the weekend. The event, the country’s largest inland waterways show, included more than 200 stalls, craft and food marques, children’s activities, musical entertainment and the chance to climb aboard a variety of boats on display....

  • Setback for Llangollen Canal Whitchurch Arm canal restoration plans shropshirestar.com

    The Whitchurch Waterway Trust wants to extend the canal and create a new basin with moorings in the town. But at last night’s annual meeting of Whitchurch Town Council members rejected a bid for funding from the trust. Councillors said they had already given the trust money in the past and had not had any evidence of what it had been used for. ...


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