Log in
Article search:

Wednesday 23 October

Today's news from the web

  • Boater travels 78 miles to keep waterways tidy oxfordmail.co.uk

    Keeping the canals tidy may be picking up the odd crisp packet but one resident has gone much further. Richard MacKenzie, 39, lives aboard his narrowboat Bluebell, cruising the historic Oxford Canal. He has just completed a litter-pick of all 78 miles from Coventry to its terminus in the heart of Oxford’s city centre. ...


Tuesday 22 October

Today's news from the web

  • Coventry to mark 250 years of city canal basin coventryobserver.co.uk

    Heritage enthusiasts will gather at the Coventry canal basin on Saturday (October 26), to mark 250 years of a canal in the city A free event, 10am to 4pm, will celebrate the anniversary of the first coal boats coming to Coventry, in 1769. In that year ‘the Coventry Mercury’ newspaper reported: “Two boats laden with coal were brought to this city from this side of Bedworth. Being the first ones, they were received with loud cheers by a number of people who had assembled to witness their arrival.”...


Wednesday 16 October

Today's news from the web

  • Want a home close to a park or a canal? Then you may have to pay up to £4,600 more thisismoney.co.uk

    The grass might not always be greener on the other side but if it is, then the homes nearby will be worth more. That's the conclusion of a study that suggests homebuyers will pay an average premium of up to £4,600 to be near green spaces. Houses and flats within 100 metres of public green space such as parks, allotments, golf courses and playing fields were 1.1 per cent, or £2,500, more expensive on average than they would be if they were more than 500 metres away in 2016. But that premium rises even more in the case of detached home, or if the property has actual views onto parks or water such as rivers, canals, lakes or the sea. ...


Monday 14 October

Today's news from the web


Monday 30 September

Today's news from the web

  • Leeds cat reunited with owners after going missing for over two years yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk

    A Leeds cat enjoyed a remarkable stroke of luck when his microchip led him back to his owners - over TWO YEARS after he went missing. The cat, named Blackjack, was last seen in early 2017, shortly before he was booked in to be neutered. At the time his owner, Rachael Pawley, was moored on a narrowboat on the Aire and Calder Navigation, near Leeds at Thwaite Mills....


Friday 27 September

Today's news from the web

  • Couple 'stuck' on narrowboat in Godmanchester for five days bbc.co.uk

    A couple say they were forced to stay on their narrowboat for five days after a river lock broke. Tina and Mark Harding had been at Godmanchester Lock on the River Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire since Sunday, unable to reach their home mooring in St Neots, eight miles (13km) away. The Environment Agency said "bespoke" parts were needed to repair the lock and apologised for the inconvenience. It was fixed on Thursday afternoon and boats can now pass through....


Tuesday 24 September

Today's news from the web

  • Caledonian Canal drained again for Fort Augustus lock repairs pressandjournal.co.uk

    The famous Caledonian Canal locks at Fort Augustus are to be drained for the second time this year for vital repairs. The lock gate replacement works are to recommence next month after encountering a number of ‘unexpected’ hitches on replacing the gates into the historic walls on the previous phase of repairs. Phase two of the replacement programme at Fort Augustus is to commence over winter...


Monday 16 September

Today's news from the web

  • Claverton pump opened specially for descendants of the last engine keeper wiltshiretimes.co.uk

    When the descendants of Benjamin Whitaker, the first engine keeper of John Rennie’s water driven pump at Claverton on the Kennet and Avon Canal, returned to Bath from the four corners of the earth for a family wedding they took the opportunity to visit Claverton. They were enthusiastically welcomed by The Claverton Group who maintain the pump. The Grade 1 listed building was opened and the historic pump run specially for the visitors. The group had travelled from Stirling in Scotland, Victoria Island, Canada and Melbourne, Australia....


Monday 9 September

Today's news from the web

  • Freight returns to Scottish canal with special vegetable delivery scotsman.com

    Two centuries after it was built to transport coal, a market gardener is returning freight to the Union Canal by taking vegetables to market on a puffer. Iain Withers will pilot the new way of transporting produce on Saturday when it is shipped two miles to Linlithgow for a one-day sale. He is comandeering the Wee Spark for the task, a working replica of a traditional Clyde puffer. The “Veg Boat” will carry some 15 types of vegetable from the first full season at Mr Withers’ canalside Narrowboat Farm, east of Linlithgow....


Monday 2 September

Today's news from the web

  • Roboat - a project to reinvent self-piloted boats on canals roboat.org

    Roboat is a new kind of on-demand infrastructure: autonomous platforms will combine together to form floating bridges and stages, collect waste, deliver goods, and transport people, all while collecting data about the city. How can we re-imagine urban infrastructures with cutting-edge technologies?...


Friday 30 August

Locking restrictions lifted

The torrential rain conditions might have caused a one-off near-disaster at Whaley Bridge, but they have been a relief to much of the rest of the country.

The deluge that disrupted the Peak Forest Canal caused restrictions to be lifted in the Midlands within the week, particularly thanks to reservoirs across the Braunston and Leicester summit quickly refilling, although the Canal & River Trust also claimed credit for reducing demands by introducing local water saving restrictions, and doing some short-duration summer stoppage works such as relining lock gates.

CRT used the occasion to issue this plea to Midlands boaters: "It’s helpful to aim for minimal contact when navigating through locks by ensuring gates are fully open when passing through as pushing gates open using a boat can damage the gate lining, increasing its leakage. Thank you for your help."

Restrictions on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal were lifted in late July, while water pumping problems on the Kennet & Avon Canal summit were mastered by early August.





Andrew Denny  | 1.58pm | add a comment


Wednesday 21 August

Historic crane returns to Audlem

A historic crane has been returned to the Shropshire Union Canal after restoration by Canal & River Trust apprentices.

The crane at Audlem Wharf was found last year to have serious timber rot, and was fenced off for safety before being removed in February to CRT's Northwich workshops.

While the crane was said to have been restored by May, the local IWA branch (Shrewsbury & North Wales) said it required "a great deal of lobbying" to get it reinstated in time for the Audlem Festival of Transport at the end of July. It was returned (flatpack Ikea-style) on 19th July and re-erected by a team of CRT engineers and local volunteer canal rangers.

Audlem Wharf originally had another crane, but that disappeared at the end of the working boat era. The present one is variously said to have come from a canal/railway yard on the BCN or from the old Audlem railway station, which closed in 1963. It was put up to restore character to the wharf when the adjacent warehouse was turned into the Shroppie Fly pub in the 1970s.







Andrew Denny  | 1.41pm | add a comment


Tuesday 20 August

Boats free to a good home

The National Waterways Museum plans to give away 12 historic boats following a review of all 68 craft in its collection.

The boats are being offered free of charge, first to accredited museums and then to individuals and private organisations who are able and willing to care for them.

The 12 boats it wants to rehome range from iron-hulled icebreakers to a salmon fishing boat. In some cases, the museum already has examples of that type of vessel, while other boats aren't so significant to the story the museum tells. Some of the boats have changed so much over the decades that little of the original remains.

Graham Boxer, head of collections and archives at the Canal & River Trust, which runs the museum, said: “It is far better to have a representative collection of the most historically significant boats, cared for in the most appropriate way and in the best possible condition, than many in a poor state.

“If we can't find homes for all of them, we may recommend some for documented deconstruction, to preserve the boat’s story for future reference.”

Applications should be made by 2nd November 2019. Details are at canalrivertrust.org.uk/nwm.

The vessels to be re-homed are:
Aries – Star class wooden motor narrowboat (‘small ricky’), c.1935
Chiltern - wooden motor narrowboat (stern only), c.1946
Marlyn – a wooden motor gig boat, c.1940
Marple – iron hull of icebreaker, c.1850
Marsden - iron hull of icebreaker, early 20th century
Minstrel – small boat, c.1940
Shirley – small powered leisure-boat, c.1930
Speedwell – wooden dumb barge, c.1925
Spindrift 3 - Royal Navy ‘Jollyboat’ c.1910
Stratford – small iron riveted boat from Stratford Canal, c.1930
Ulla – clinker-built salmon fishing boat, c.1952
Whaley Bridge – iron hull of icebreaker, date unknown


Andrew Denny  | 1.59pm | add a comment


Wolverhampton to Birmingham towpath completed

A two-year, £4.2m project to upgrade the 11 miles of towpath between Birmingham and Wolverhampton was completed in July.

The entire Main Line between the two city centres is now up to full cycling standard, "level, and pothole- and traffic-free" says the Canal & River Trust. While CRT did the work, funding came from local authority and local enterprise partnerships, though a programme called Managing Short Trips 2.

Another 12 miles has already been upgraded on the Wyrley & Essington and the Tame Valley Canals.






Andrew Denny  | 1.28pm | add a comment


GU Bulbourne Yard developed

The historic Bulbourne Yard on the Grand Union Canal summit is finally being developed as housing, 16 years after lock gate production ceased.

The workshops were built in 1882 and made lock gates for 120 years. After they closed in 2003, the Canal & River Trust failed to find commercial uses that would keep the buildings in their existing format.

The development is by H2O Urban, CRT's joint partnership with housing developer Bloc.

It will build 25 homes, using the four Grade II-listed buildings, two other buildings and eight new homes, along with 48 parking spaces. A new pedestrian footbridge (not shown) will also be built, and CRT says it will retain offices there and some features of the old site, including the wharf and crane.

The 25 new houses at Bulbourne should be completed by 2021.


Andrew Denny  | 1.27pm | add a comment


First Red Wheel unveiled in Scotland

The Transport Trust has unveiled its first Red Wheel in Scotland. The latest plaque commemorates the Glasgow, Paisley & Ardrossan Canal, and has been placed on the Canal Station pub and restaurant in Paisley.

The canal, designed by John Rennie and Thomas Telford, opened in 1810 and only ran for 11 miles between Glasgow and Johnstone, the money running out before it could reach Ardrossan on the coast. Even the shortened length was never profitable but it survived for 70 years, being converted into a railway in 1885.

The name 'Canal Station' recalls both forms of transport. The railway station was built on the site of the Paisley Basin, itself the scene of the UK's biggest canal tragedy. Just days after the waterway opened, 84 people were drowned here when a passenger boat capsized, a disaster commemorated in a separate plaque nearby (WW July 2015).

The canal also featured the longest arch in any aqueduct of the canal age, across the River White Cart at Blackhall Bridge. This was retained for the succeeding railway, and at 209 years old it remains the world's oldest operational railway bridge. The railway was closed in 1983 but reopened in 1990 as a commuter route from Canal Station into Glasgow. A half-mile section of the old canal remains in water near Johnstone.

The Transport Trust is due shortly to unveil the second Scottish Red Wheel, at Glenfinnan Viaduct on the West Highland railway line, known to a new generation as the 'Harry Potter bridge'.












Andrew Denny  | 1.24pm | add a comment


No more hire bikes in canals please, says CRT

The Canal & River Trust has appealed to bike hire companies to find a way of stopping its bikes from ending up in canals. The trust estimates that 100 or more hire bikes – docked, dockless and electric – are being dumped by thieves and vandals in London's canals alone each year.

Charlotte Wood, CRT's London head of operations, says: “Fair play to Transport for London, they reimburse us for the Santander bikes we return to them. Freebikes have also been proactive in trying to help. However, other hire organisations aren't as yet working with us. We think it’s because they get their bikes so cheaply it’s not cost effective to cover their return.”

The trust’s latest haul, gathered at its depot beside the Thames for a photo-opportunity, included 20 Mobikes, nine Ofo bikes, an Urbo bike, a new Lime electric bike and seven Santander bikes from London’s official docking cycle scheme.

Andrew Denny  | 1.21pm | add a comment


Monday 19 August

Network Rail volunteers help SNCT at Berwick Tunnel

Ten staff from Network Rail joined 20 volunteers of the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust in July to work on vegetation clearance on the derelict Shrewsbury Canal.

Network Rail learned of the opportunities for volunteering on the site after two of its staff went on a guided walk of the route hosted by SNCT last year.

The main SNCT work parties are now at both ends of the canal's Berwick Tunnel portals, since it could be an 'easy win' for the restoration. Although abandoned for 70 years, the 970-yard tunnel still appears to be in good condition and the biggest task at the moment is the vegetation in and around the channel, which is still largely in water (News, WW May 2018).

The tunnel was completed in 1797 after Thomas Telford became the engineer for the Shrewsbury Canal, and was the first of any size to have a towpath throughout its length. Originally a tub-boat canal, operating boats 8ft long by 6ft 4in beam, the canal was widened after 1835 when it was linked to the national system via the Newport Canal.

See sncanal.org.uk for more.

Network Rail volunteers help SNCT at Berwick Tunnel

Andrew Denny  | 2.13pm | add a comment


Chelsea Flower Show garden secret at Standedge

A collection of canal art pieces created for the award winning canal exhibit at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show is now on public exhibition at the Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre.

The 'Welcome to Yorkshire' canal garden, which won a gold medal at the Chelsea show, relied on attention to detail. And one detail, seen only by the judges and VIP guests, was a selection of canal art displayed in the exhibit's 'lock hut' and painted by waterways artist Melanie Clare.

In designing his garden, Mark Gregory had a fanciful conceit that the lock-keeper would have lovingly and privately collected such beautifully painted objects. It must have been frustrating for the artist to have had her work exhibited to such an exclusive audience, and she must be gratified to now have it seen more publicly.

The work includes familiar roses and castles, but also the 'brightwork' peculiar to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. It is on show at Standedge until the end of October.


Andrew Denny  | 2.13pm | add a comment


Another canal mill destroyed

Barely a week after a blaze destroyed the Walkley Clogs building on the Rochdale Canal, another historic canalside mill was destroyed on the Ashton Canal on 6th August.

Oxford Mill, at Ashton-under-Lyne, was the creation of Hugh Mason, a pioneering and enlightened mill owner and later Liberal MP.

Chris Leah of the Wooden Boat Society was a witness to the conflagration, during one of his society's regular recycling trips (as described in WW January 2019). He told us: “Ominous black smoke was billowing from a big fire close to our intended route. I had noted previously that [one section of the mill had been] used for storing stuff in cardboard boxes.

“By the time we were ready to return it was nearly dark. At Brewery Bridge, at the South end of Pottinger Street, we got a good view of the fire. The brigade's efforts had seemingly been in vain. The whole area was now blazing well, particularly in the section of the building where I had seen the boxes, presumably turbocharged by whatever was being stored.”

Chris said he had to tie up for the night in a nearby bridgehole, fearful that the building might collapse on the boat if he tried to pass. Fortunately no one was injured in the blaze.

“The streets had a carnival atmosphere, like a huge free bonfire party for the whole community,” he added. “[Every so often] I would hear a rumble as another bit of historic mill tumbled.”



Andrew Denny  | 2.00pm | add a comment


Page: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65  66  67  68  69  70  71  72  73  74  75  76  77  78  79  80  81  82  83  84  85  86  87  88  89  90  91  92  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  102  103  104  105  106  107  108  109  110  111  112  113  114  115  116  117  118  119  120  121  122  123  124  125  126  127  128  129  130  131  132  133  134  135  136  137  138  139  140  141  142  143  144  145  146  147  148  149  150  151  152  153  154  155  156  157  158  159  160  161  162  163  164  165  166  167  168  169  170  171  172  173  174  175  176  177  178  179  180  181  182  183  184  185  186  187  188  189  190  191  192  193  194  195  196  197  198  199  200  201  202  203 


See postings from:   or see all postings