Log in
Article search:

Thursday 19 May

Today's news from the web

  • From the Guardian archives, 1 January 1894: The opening of the Manchester ship canal guardian.co.uk

    1 January 1894: Opening of the Manchester ship canal Six years in the making, the world's largest navigation canal gives the city direct access to the sea ...

  • guardian.co.uk

    1 January 1894: Opening of the Manchester ship canal Six years in the making, the world's largest navigation canal gives the city direct access to the sea ...

  • Name for new canal bridge in Stroud is revealed bbc.co.uk

    Stroud's new canal bridge is to be known as Stroud Brewery Bridge. The structure carrying the A46 over the waterway in the town centre is due to be opened in June after months of delays. Its name commemorates the old Stroud Brewery which stood next to the site until its demolition in the 1970s....

Tuesday 17 May

Famous Milton Keynes mural gets refurbishment

The Wolverton Train Mural, for 25 years a striking feature of the canal through Milton Keynes, has been substantially refurbished.

However, the local IWA Milton Keynes branch, which organised the restoration, warns that its long-term future is threatened because of the decay of the underlying brick wall,  which was never designed as a mural substrate. 

The work, originally designed by Bill Billings to brighten the canal after the IWA's National festival in 1985, represented Wolverton’s past as a centre of railway history and its future as part of the Milton Keynes conurbation. It also covered up graffiti, and for a while remained free from further vandalism. 

Over the years the Mural has been looked after by IWA local volunteers, who repainted weathered and vandalised sections and regularly cut back vegetation, including a major restoration in 2005.   However, by 2010 the mural was once again the target of vandalism and needed restoration if it was to survive. Concerned with its condition, local IWA members pressured the local community to support repainting, and found strong support for the restoration.   

Support for the restoration came from a grant from the Milton Keynes Community Foundation, local employer Electrolux plc and Wolverton and Greenleys Town Council.The Milton Keynes Christian Foundation, which trains unemployed youngsters in building skills, helped to create a short section of wall to replace missing gates. 

Three Community Artists, David Fenton, Neil Keen and Ryan Billings (the son of Bill Billings, who died in 2007), have now re-painted it with the support of Community Payback offenders, and local community and IWA volunteers. The artists had already worked closely for a  number of years with Bill Billings prior to his death in 2007, and have now used more modern paints and techniques than Bill had available in the 1980s. 

The Mural now looks brighter again, but IWA Milton Keynes warns that it will become more difficult to maintain in the future, and the underlying wall on which it is painted is in danger of collapse in places.

Andrew Denny  | 7.38am

Today's news from the web

  • More patrols at St Neots to get boats to slow down cambridge-news.co.uk

    Extra river patrols are to take place to crack down on speeding boaters on the River Great Ouse. The Environment Agency patrols will focus on the stretch of river in the St Neots area. It has also installed extra 4mph signs on the stretch between St Neots and Eaton Socon lock in a bid to encourage boat users to slow down....

Monday 16 May

Waterways Festival to feature record number of historic boats

The IWA Waterways Festival, being hosted by Burton upon Trent from 29th to 31st July, is expected this year to feature a  record number of historic narrow boats

The organisers say that at least 28 historic boats will attend, the largest number ever to have gathered at the annual festival.  They will offer waterways enthusiasts, history lovers and the general public chance to see how people lived and worked on the waterways in years gone by.   

Making a guest appearance will be President, the only restored ex-Fellows Morton and Clayton steam powered narrow boat.  Now owned by The Black Country Living Museum, the boat was built over a century ago as a steamer, converted to diesel power in 1925, and, following restoration in 1974, returned to steam.   

David Pullen, Waterspace Director for IWA Festivals said: “All of the boats have been beautifully restored to their former glory and their owners will explain how the boats were worked, in a very tough industrial environment. We hope the festival goers enjoy looking at the boats and learning about the importance of them to our social and industrial history.”    

To find out more about The Waterways Festival, or to book advance tickets visit www.thewaterwaysfestival.co.uk or call 01474 783 453 (ext 602 or 603)

President at Burton in 2004, the last time the Waterways Festival was held there. 

Andrew Denny  | 4.12pm

Michael Ancram resigns as K&A president, replaced by David Bruce

The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust has announced that Michael Ancram is stepping down as president after two years. 

Paying tribute to Michael Ancram, chairman Mike Rodd said that he had played a major role in helping the Trust gain Cruiseway Status for the canal, and had always been available to ‘prod and guide the council’. 

His replacement as president is to be David Bruce, a long-standing member and founder of the successful Bruce’s Brewery, Firkin Pubs chain and the newly floated Capital Pub Company PLC. More recently David Bruce went on to create the Bruce Charitable Trust (www.brucetrust.org.uk) which provides holidays for disabled people on the Kennet & Avon Canal on specially built boats.

David Bruce’s first involvement with the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust was over 20 years ago as Chairman of The Last Lock Appeal which raised £10,000 for the restoration of the grass-sided Widmead Lock near Thatcham, just prior to the visit by H.M. The Queen in 1990.

Andrew Denny  | 3.48pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • Along The Cut canal art exhibition At Nantwich Museum creweguardian.co.uk

    A new exhibition of canal art by a local artist opened in the Millennium Gallery at Nantwich Museum this week. Along the Cut features canal linocuts and other works by Eric Gaskell and will run at the venue until June 25. Although the exhibition is principally about linocuts along the canals there are also drawings and paintings. These include pen and ink and conte drawings showing the 'workings' of the linocuts. Examples of the actual linocuts are displayed together with the drawing books showing their development. Of particular interest locally are scenes from the Shropshire Union Canal including some around Chester, Bunbury Locks and Audlem Mill....

Friday 13 May

Today's news from the web

  • Can you help upkeep of canal at Market Harborough? harboroughmail.co.uk

    A new group dedicated to the upkeep of a section of the Grand Union Canal is carrying out its first work day on Monday. The group, which has called itself the Harborough Towpathers in association with British Waterways and Paws 4 Walking, is meeting at the canal basin at Union Wharf, Harborough at 11am. They are planning to paint five water points, totems, faded signs, and bollards and to edge the area of the moorings on the basin approach....

  • London 2012 Olympics: Floating walkway plan for Thames bbc.co.uk

    A kilometre-long floating river walk is planned for the River Thames in time for the Olympics. The scheme, backed by £60m of private investment, would provide a 12m (39ft) wide floating pontoon in the City of London from Blackfriars Bridge. Eight themed pavilions are proposed which would showcase London. The award-winning London River Park design is now being submitted to the City of London Corporation for consideration....

Thursday 12 May

Today's news from the web

  • In praise of… LTC Rolt guardian.co.uk

    A journey [this Saturday] marks the 60th anniversary of Dolgoch pulling the first passenger train on the newly reopened Talyllyn railway in 1951. ... This weekend's event, however, is also a celebration of those who made such enchanting journeys possible in an era of austerity when the preservation of an obscure and archaic railway in north Wales was, at best, an eccentric diversion from the need to build a modern postwar Britain. The driving force behind both the Talyllyn revival and the railway preservation movement was the engineer and writer Lionel Thomas Caswall Rolt. ...

  • BW increases volunteering by two-thirds civilsociety.co.uk

    British Waterways has increased volunteering by 67 per cent since last year. Members of the public spent 24,234 days working with British Waterways to keep canals and rivers clean and tidy compared to fewer than 15,000 last year....

Wednesday 11 May

Today's news from the web

  • 'Help preserve canal history' lep.co.uk

    Photographers who use Lancashire’s canal network are being asked to keep a record of the historic waterways. British Waterways wants volunteers to take photos of the condition of its towpaths and any obstructions to access. This will provide valuable information for people with restricted mobility, as well as families with buggies, cyclists and other towpath users. British Waterways is looking for volunteers interested in treading the towpath to map four to five miles in a day with the use of a smartphone. ...

  • Ellesmere set for tourism boost with BW development bordercountiesadvertizer.co.uk

    Ellesmere could be set for a tourism boom if British Waterways plans to develop a working heritage centre in the town come to fruition. Visitors and residents could soon be treated to the sight and sounds of traditional blacksmiths, glass blowers, and potters, amidst a range of other arts and crafts which would be permanent fixtures in buildings at the town's wharf....

  • Boaters campaign to stay afloat hackneycitizen.co.uk

    A community of local boaters came together on Saturday 30 April to draw attention to the impending threat to their way of life. They arranged their boats to form the word ‘home’ in Regent’s Canal in protest at plans by British Waterways to change the charges that some boaters in the Lea Valley area pay....

  • London Canal Boats Beat Supertankers as Glut Sinks Oil Freight businessweek.com

    Hiring canal boats in London costs more than supertankers earn from shipping Saudi Arabian crude to Japan as a glut of the oil transporters cuts freight rates on the industry’s most important trade route. Returns from the 1,000-foot long tankers plunged 99 percent to $585 a day over the past year for single-trip charters to deliver 2 million barrel cargoes, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. Hiring a 57-foot pleasure craft on the Grand Union Canal that links London to Birmingham costs 395 pounds ($646) a day, the holidayuk.co.uk website shows....

Monday 9 May

First pound of new Lichfield Canal begins to fill

Last weekend I visited the Tamworth Road locks in Lichfield, where the Lichfield Canal restoration commences its long climb to the Wyrley & Essington canal summit.  The stretch  has been newly renamed the Borrowcop Canal Park, and for the first time in over 50 years, one short pound is just starting to fill with water to justify the name. 

It's a heartening sight for canal lovers,and especially for the tireless restorers of the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust:

It will take a while to fill - and may need to wait for more rainfall. The pipe you see to the side replaces the storm drain, which for 50 years ploughed right through the locks and pounds and had to be rechannelled to allow the restoration to proceed.


I was happy to see that for all its shallowness the pound already has its first wildlife - a pair of mallards have taken up residence and hatched a clutch of FOURTEEN chicks. It's hard to see how the little ducklings will find enough to feed them, and the shallowness of the water might not leave them safe from predators, but we can only wish them luck. 

Boaters will require a little more patience before they can occupy this pound. No one is even guessing when the canal will be ready for them. 

"Hopefully in my lifetime", is a popular aspiration, as the indefatigable restorers continue their work and contemplate the pound (below) adjacent to the newly restored one:

Andrew Denny  | 11.48pm

Today's news from the web

  • Don't waste time on canal plan, says Leamington Observer letter leamingtonobserver.co.uk

    From the letters page of the Leamington Observer: "I note with concern that the proposal for extending the Avon navigation has once again reared its unwelcome head. The matter was thoroughly discussed and debated by the Warwickshire County Council in 2004 who rejected it out of hand. ... Warwick town centre is [already] but a short and very pleasant walk or bus ride from the Grand Union for canal users who wish to visit the town. So please don't let us waste any more time and public money debating this doomed proposal....

  • Expansion plans for Reedley Marina recommended for refusal burnleycitizen.co.uk

    Ambitious expansion plans for Reedley Marina could be on the rocks after they were recommended for refusal by Pendle Council. Bosses at the Barden Lane attraction, which is situated on the Leeds-Liverpool canal, have applied for permission to build a 76 berth marina, new facilities and utility buildings and 46 more car parking spaces. But the scheme could be thrown out after a report from planning officers said the application should be rejected because of the impact on green belt land....

  • K&A continuous cruiser to rent kanda.boatingcommunity.org.uk

    [K&A continuous cruising] Boat to rent 70ft narrowboat to rent from June – on the K and A canal. Lovely liveaboard with solar panels, large woodburner, gas CH, reliable engine etc. Furniture if wanted. No mooring, but very happy to help you move her until you’re comfortable to do so; or to help you find a mooring. £500 / month including license. ...

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