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Wednesday 23 March

Today's news from the web

  • Docklands cable cars given green light wharf.co.uk

    The go-ahead has been given to the planned Thames Cable Car linking Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks. The Greater London Authority gave final permission for the scheme which will carry up to 2,500 passengers an hour between The O2 arena and Excel....

  • Ellesmere Port waterfront vision unveiled attractionsmanagement.com

    A partnership including Peel Land and Property; the Waterways Trust; and Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWCC) has unveiled its new vision for Ellesmere Port's waterfront. The consortium is working alongside the Ellesmere Port Development Board to regenerate the area and to promote it as a destination for residents, tourists and visitors. Plans for the waterfront include improving the existing Docks Conservation Area, which is to bring new activity to "underutilised and an often under-appreciated" asset. At the heart of the conservation area is the National Waterways Museum, with the planned improvements designed to open up access and enhance public space....

Monday 21 March

Today's news from the web

  • New IWA North Riding branch launched yorkpress.co.uk

    A new branch of the Inland Waterways Association has been set up as a guardian of waterways in North and East Yorkshire. The North Riding Branch, which is the first new branch to be set up in ten years, will cover waterways from Goole in the east, Ripon in the west and north as far as Newcastle. ...

  • K& A Canal Trust Devizes HQ shock thisiswiltshire.co.uk

    The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust has to move out of the canal centre on Devizes Wharf or face repairs amounting to £500,000. The Wharf Centre, thought to be 200 years old, houses the trust museum and shop but has been suffering structural problems for some time. ...

Thursday 17 March

Today's news from the web

  • Whitton man fined £327 for using boat without a license on the Thames richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk

    A boater caught using his boat on the River Thames without a valid registration has been fined £327. Gavin Harwood, 34, of Gosling Road, Whitton, was slapped with the fine after Environment Agency lock and weir Keeper Peter McLellan spotted the boat, named Quadrille Lady, without a valid registration at Teddington lock last October....

Thursday 10 March

Today's news from the web

  • Love struck swans reunited after roadside fight shropshirestar.com

    Two love-struck swans from a Shropshire canal who were separated, sparking a bird fight in the middle of a county street, have been reunited and allowed back into the water. Albert and Mildred, residents of Newport canal, were separated after she was taken to Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire for treatment on her foot. Albert, pining for his partner, went all over Newport looking for her and, in a case of mistaken identity, cosied up to another female swan, Sarah, at Cheney Hill island in the town. This sparked a feud between Albert and Sarah’s partner Louis, and the pair ended up fighting on the B5062 into Edgmond on February 25. ...

  • Houseboaters being 'socially cleansed' from Olympics area guardian.co.uk

    Houseboat residents near the Olympic development site in east London are accusing British Waterways of an attempt at "social cleansing". They say proposed changes to rules for living on the canals before the 2012 Games could force hundreds of people from their water-based homes....

  • Warning to anglers after pylon danger signs stolen from Coventry Canal coventrytelegraph.net

    A warning has been issued to anglers after pylon danger signs were stolen from the Coventry Canal. British Waterways says 20 signposts have disappeared from the banks of the canal between Coventry and Nuneaton in the past week. The red triangular signs warn of overhead power lines which can deliver a fatal electric shock if touched by metal or carbon fibre fishing rods. ...

Wednesday 9 March

Today's news from the web

  • Pooh Sticks contest ready to return oxfordmail.co.uk

    Organisers of the World Pooh Sticks Championships are confident this year’s competition will go ahead after last year’s event was cancelled because of bad weather. They are expecting 2,000 people from all over the world to descend on Days Lock, Little Wittenham, near Didcot, for the contest on Sunday, March 27. Last year’s event had to be cancelled because of Environment Agency fears over health and safety after high water levels after rain made the River Thames dangerous. The agency put up red flags on a stretch of the river from Radcot Lock to Hurley Lock, meaning organisers were unable to get their safety boats to the lock. The boats are needed in case people leaning over to drop their sticks fall in the water....

  • Nantwich Road closed for two hours due to lorry blocked by canal bridge middlewichguardian.co.uk

    Nantwich Road was blocked for more than two hours on Thursday when a lorry got trapped at the low canal bridge. Police had to close the road at around 3.30pm to assist as the HGV driver struggled to turn his vehicle around. Residents say that incidents like this happen frequently because many lorry drivers either ignore or do not see the warning signs which state that the bridge has an 11ft 6in height limit....

Monday 7 March

Today's news from the web

  • Sludge from dredged Stroudwater canal enough to fill swimming pool stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk

    Nearly enough sludge and rubbish to fill an Olympic swimming pool has been dredged from a-mile-and-a-half stretch of the Stroudwater Canal. Bicycles, traffic cones and supermarket trolleys have been some of the items pulled out of the canal between The Ocean at Stonehouse and Ryeford Double Lock by dredging company Land and Water on behalf of Stroud District Council. A spokesman from the council, Dave Marshall, said: " We were not surprised by the amount of rubbish we have collected." Mr Marshall said that they were only skimming the surface, because modern boats require less depth to pass through, so they were only dredging the top layer of silt. ...

  • Newbury canal hydro project comes under scrutiny newburytoday.co.uk

    Plans to kickstart a hydroelectric facility in the [Kennet & Avon] canal near Victoria Park, Newbury, as part of a ‘Big Society’ community project came under scrutiny at a public meeting on Monday. Mark Knight, of Kiln Road, Newbury, got the idea to construct a hydroelectric facility in the Kennet and Avon Canal that would generate electricity to feed into the national grid following discussions on the Newburytoday.co.uk forum, and he called a public meeting that was held at the town council offices in Market Place. ...

  • Corrie bosses concerned over squawking birds entertainment.stv.tv

    Coronation Street bosses are said to be concerned that filming on the new Weatherfield set could be disrupted by the noise of "screeching" water fowl. The famous cobbled street is set to be relocated to new purpose-built studios at Trafford Wharf in Salford Quays. However, the waterways close to the new set are home to hundreds of ducks, geese, swans and gulls....

  • Historic Thameside moorings sold at Henley henleystandard.co.uk

    An historic set of moorings on the River Thames at Henley has been sold for the first time in its long history. This rare opportunity to purchase a length of moorings on one of England’s most famous stretches of river generated interest from a broad cross-section of potential purchasers, some with existing interests in the water-based leisure market, while others were of local or regional origin, who recognised its scarcity value and potential for business growth. The 28 moorings, which have a frontage to the River Thames of approximately 90 metres (290 ft), occupy a prime position on Thames Side, close to Henley town centre and a stone’s throw from the town’s historic five-arched bridge, a focal point for the annual Royal Regatta and Festival of Music and Arts. ...

Sunday 6 March

Today's news from the web

  • Idea just 218 years in the making for Daventry Canal Arm northamptonchron.co.uk

    A new canal arm in Daventry which was first mooted in 1793 is one step closer to becoming a reality as planning permission is sought to create a two-mile stretch of waterway. Plans will be submitted to Daventry District Council in the next few weeks for a new arm of the Grand Union Canal, half a mile south of Braunston Tunnel. A new association has been set up to pursue the project and will have their first meeting on Friday, March 11, where ways of getting the project, which is estimated to cost in the region of £10 million, off the ground....

Friday 4 March

Today's news from the web

  • River Ancholme being dredged at Brigg thisisscunthorpe.co.uk

    The River Ancholme at Brigg, which is being dredged over the next three weeks in an effort to help reduce the risk of flooding. Picture: David Haber A £60,000 scheme to reduce flood risk in Brigg is under way. The Environment Agency project involves removing around 3,500 tonnes of silt from the river bed of the Old River Ancholme. The silt is now being taken from the centre of the river in three sections, with the work scheduled to last three weeks....

  • National waterways event at Burton-upon-Trent bbc.co.uk

    An annual national celebration of inland waterways is to be held at a Staffordshire town. About 350 boats were expected to line up for the 62nd Waterways Festival at Burton-upon-Trent, The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) said. It will be staged at Shobnall Fields, alongside the banks of the Trent and Mersey Canal, from 29 to 31 July....

  • Historic tug-boat Cervia could return to the Thames dartfordtimes.com

    Thanks to the diligent work of volunteers led by a former tugboat driver, a historic boat could soon return to the River Thames. Mike Houckham — who worked the tugs for 10 years out of Gravesend — has led the restoration of the Cervia steam powered tugboat — the oldest of her class in the world — and is desperate to see her return to the town....

Wednesday 2 March

Guy Martin's Reckless attempt to be the next Fred Dibnah

The BBC is taking a confident punt tonight that it can turn racing motorcylist Guy Martin into the next unlikely prime time reality show star, with a profile to rival Fred Dibnah. 

Occupying a time slot usually reserved for soaps like East Enders, The Boat That Guy Built will chronicle Guy's attempt to restore what the press called a 'run-down' canal boat into something modern and desirable.  The twist here is that he will use old techniques that help to build the Industrial Revolution and hope to learn (and demonstrate) something about our own heritage and history. 

The boat he selected is called Reckless, and it wasn't just 'run down', but ironically an utter wreck.  About 5 years ago it was the target of an arson attack, and ended up at Streethay Wharf, where I witnessed the aftermath.  Here's the boat's traditional engine room shortly after the attack: 

A year later, in 2007, I blogged about it on Granny Buttons in the post "Recked Reckless".

Streethay's chief engineer bought the wreck and attempted to rebuild it himself as a private project.  But as with many project boats he ran out of time, and sold it on to the show's producers, who were presumably attracted by the disaster inherent in the name. 

(Actually, when built about 1999 it was originally Recklis, but a new owner was reckless enough to rename it, ignoring the superstition that renaming boats is bad luck.)    

The series will attempt to show how Britain became the world leader in building things, and appropriately Guy Martin starts off the series by find the materials to make the equipment to, er,  make a cup of tea.  (But isn't that how all canal boats get made?)

We'll follow the series with interest.   


Andrew Denny  | 6.16pm

Tuesday 1 March

Today's news from the web

  • Waterways minister's official statements on transfer of EA to waterways charity publications.parliament.uk

    In phase 1, the liabilities and assets of British Waterways in England and Wales will transfer into the new charity, alongside an "endowment" consisting of the property portfolio owned by British Waterways in England and Wales. In phase 2, the EA navigations would transfer to the new charity, if sufficient funding can be found in the next spending review to enable the charity to take on the liabilities associated with them, and subject to the agreement of the charity's trustees....

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