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Monday 24 February

Today's news from the web

  • My life in London's houseboat slums theguardian.com

    Where do you live if you cannot afford London's soaring rents? I took the only home I could find: a tiny, mouldy room in a freezing barge on the Thames. And there are many desperate people in the same situation...

Wednesday 5 February

Today's news from the web

  • Oxford Canal play contest aims to make the inspiration flow oxfordmail.co.uk

    Some of the country’s best known writers are preparing to help local writers produce radio plays. Mark Haddon, author of bestselling novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time, will be one of three authors from the city who will offer help to fledgling playwrights to create plays about the Oxford Canal. Mr Haddon, along with Golden Globe-nominated scriptwriter Paul Rutman and Katie Baxendale, writer of teen sensation Sugar Rush, all live near the canal – and they will offer help to the writers of the best four scripts in a competition. They will be broadcast online and an overall winner will be chosen by His Dark Materials author Phillip Pullman. ...

Friday 31 January

Toyah heads Crick 2014 line-up

Toyah Willcox has been confirmed as this year’s headlining act at Crick Boat Show 2014.  Fresh from her positively received diving on ITV1's Splash, household name, pop icon, TV presenter and stage and screen actress (Calamity Jane, Cabaret Peter Pan, Jubilee, Quadrophenia) Toyah comes to Crick Boat Show this May to perform her Acoustic, Up Close & Personal set.
This is a rare chance to experience Toyah up close and personal. A lively unplugged/storytellers style gig, it will include her performing an acoustic set of her loved hit singles and classic songs, alongside recalling stories from her colourful, thirty-five year career.  Toyah will be accompanied by fellow musicians Chris Wong and Colin Hinds.
Toyah Willcox will be the final act on Saturday, after a day of Crick favourites and talented local musicians.  On Sunday, Roy Orbison and the Traveling Wilburys Tribute have been confirmed as the main act.
For the first time this year, evening-only tickets have been made available to purchase, allowing those who cannot make it during the day to come along and soak up Crick’s evening entertainment for £6 per person.  Day and weekend ticket holders get free access to all our evening entertainment on days booked.
If you’ve yet to book your tickets to Crick Boat Show 2014, you can do so at www.crickboatshow.com or by calling 01283 742970.

Andrew Denny  | 3.42pm | add a comment

Tuesday 7 January

Today's news from the web

  • Storms damage newly restored Stroud canal locks stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk

    A £300,000 scheme to connect the two stretches of water on the new Cotswold canal restoration, at Dudbridge in Stroud, has been washed away after the recent storms caused the canal to flood resulting in damage to the lock. As a result of the canal overflowing on New Year’s Day during the bad weather the newly laid towpath surface has been worn away leading to the collapse of three metres of the lock wall....

Saturday 21 December

Today's news from the web

Thursday 12 December

Today's news from the web

  • How we restored 'the boat which saved our canals' bristolpost.co.uk

    Afamous narrowboat, which helped prevent the closure of the canal network in the 1960s, has been brought back to life after falling into disrepair. The restoration of the historic Greenshank narrowboat – which was built in the 1930s – has taken more than a year. Greenshank was returned to Bristol's floating harbour on Monday. The bottom of the boat has been replaced after her owners, Bristol Packet Boat Trips Ltd, invested profits from a good summer into the project. ...

  • Leeds-Liverpool towpath gets £1.6million upgrade at Kirkstall thetelegraphandargus.co.uk

    A major scheme to improve a stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath has been announced. The Canal and River Trust, the charity that looks after the nation’s waterways, will upgrade the towpath between Gallows Footbridge in Shipley and Kirkstall New Road Bridge in Kirkstall, Leeds. The £1.6 million scheme is part of a large-scale project led by Metro, Bradford Council and Leeds City Council, which have secured £18.1 million from the Department for Transport’s Cycle City Ambition Fund to create a safe, sustainable transport corridor for walkers and cyclists between Bradford and Leeds. ...

Friday 29 November

Today's news from the web

  • Leeds & Liverpool Canal reopened after Rishton sink holes repaired lancashiretelegraph.co.uk

    A stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal has re-opened to boaters after repairs to a collapsed section of 200-year-old canal bed. The canal was closed after four large sink holes were found in the base of the waterway in Rishton in September. Since then, workers from the Canal and Rivers Trust have been repairing the 18th Century canal at a cost of £500,000....

Sunday 3 November

Today's news from the web

  • Prime land on the Erie Canal democratandchronicle.com

    There is only one way to Judith Terran's property in the town of Sweden: Driving four tenths of a mile down the Erie Canal trail. The state Canal Corp., which says it owns the trail, charged Terran a one-time $250 application fee for a permit to drive on it, plus an annual fee of $50 and the requirement that she purchase $300,000 worth of liability insurance for the section she travels....

  • Dubai’s ambitious new canal plans to bring a cool future thenational.ae

    Artist’s impressions of the Dubai Water Canal Project show scenes of families enjoying picnics, bike rides and pleasant strolls by a sparkling blue canal running through Al Safa Park. There are waterfront town houses, each with space to moor a yacht or sailing boat, jogging tracks and shops. A stretch of Sheikh Zayed Road and the Dubai Metro, seems to tower above the canal and surrounding land, with eight lanes running in each direction. ...

  • How the Canal Mania of the 1790s blew up Into 3 back-to-back bubbles businessinsider.com

    A fascinating look at the economics of the early canal boom years....

Friday 18 October

End of the National Waterways Festival

The IWA has announced that there will be no National Waterways Festival in 2014. The decision has been taken in light of the poor performance of the 2013 Festival in Watford, where a desperately low public attendance was a major factor in the event suffering a loss in excess of £40,000. 

Furthermore, it seems unlikely that we will ever see the return of the old-style Festival. A press release from the IWA states it has “decided against planning festivals of this type for the foreseeable future, as the financial risks for the Association are too great.” IWA National Chairman Les Etheridge said: “The old formula for IWA’s National Festival clearly no longer works and a new style is needed. We intend to support a wider range of events across the country.” 

A flavour of this new approach has already been suggested, as the organisation has confirmed it will have a major presence at the Stratford River Festival and is looking to boost its presence at the 2014 Crick Boat Show

Negotiations had been conducted with the local authorities of Stratford to run the National Festival alongside the annual river festival in a combined event. However, the calamity of Watford meant that this was a risk too far for the Association – in terms of both its finances and reputation. 

It has been clear that the National Festival has been in long-term decline for many years with ever reducing numbers of trade exhibitors and visitors. A ‘sabbatical’ in 2012, with no event taking place that year, is likely to have contributed to the poor performance of the 2014 Festival – once the pattern is broken it is very difficult to re-establish an event.

Waterways World commends the Association’s brave decision – the National Festival had been the major event of the waterways calendar for many years and in the early campaigning days it played a pivotal role in achieving the IWA’s aims of conservation and restoration. But the scene in 2013 is very different from when the first event took place in 1950 and an entirely new approach is required for a successful event. 

The decision now enables the IWA to focus on its outstanding work in other fields. This includes its ceaseless campaigning and lobbying activities, the management of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation and the tenacious work of the Waterway Recovery Group.  Sometimes difficult decisions have to be made, particularly where tradition is involved, but the IWA is now free to do what it does best.

                 Waterways World   

Andrew Denny  | 6.27pm | add a comment

Wednesday 16 October

Today's news from the web

  • Moorings and arts trail in 10-year Droitwich canals plan droitwichstandard.co.uk

    Droitwich residents have been urged to have their say on a ten-year action plan for the county's waterways which includes installing moorings and artwork on the Droitwich canals. The Canal and River Trust's South Wales and Severn Waterway Partnership has launched a draft prospectus and has invited interested parties, businesses and groups to its annual meeting on October 23. Nick Worthington, waterways manager at the trust, said moorings could be installed along the Droitwich Barge Canal next year which would hopefully attract more visitors to the Spa as well as provide an extra safety measure during flooding. ...

  • Crackdown on Lancaster Canal crime lep.co.uk

    Canals throughout Lancashire will come under close watch as part of a new initiative from Lancashire Police. Canal Watch aims to help reduce crime along the Lancaster canal as part of a week long campaign Operation Firecrest, tackling rural crime in Lancashire and covering all aspects from Farm Watch, Caravan Watch, Church Watch to Horse Watch. Throughout the week, officers will be patrolling the canal tow paths of the Lancaster canal in and around the Woodplumpton and Catforth areas, engaging with barge owners, residents and businesses, giving them crime prevention advice, handing out Canal Watch literature and encouraging them to sign up to the scheme....

Wednesday 9 October

Today's news from the web

  • The world's best bridges: show us your favourites - Guardian Witness witness.theguardian.com

    The Observer is asking for pictures of your favourite bridges. Only one currently shows a canal aqueduct - Lune Aqueduct on the Lancaster Canal: "Every week, Observer New Review chooses a subject and picks 10 of the best examples. The Golden Gate, Tower Bridge, the Ponte Vecchio – it's not hard to think of the most famous bridges in the world. But we're after something different, the bridges small or large that make the business of crossing (water, a road, a ravine) an experience unlike any other. Share your pictures of your favourite bridges and we will feature the best on the Guardian site."...

Wednesday 2 October

Today's news from the web

  • Terrapin spotted in Regent's Canal threatens wildlife dailymail.co.uk

    A baby terrapin spotted in a British canal has sparked fears among conservationists that they may have been breeding during the hot summer. Their natural habitat is the hot, humid swamps of the US, so British waters are normally too cold for them to breed. But the Canal and River Trust says this year’s scorching weather could have provided ideal conditions for the reptile to multiply – which it says would be ‘a disaster’ for wildlife. ...

Tuesday 1 October

Today's news from the web

  • Fly-tippers dump boat boat on the roadside 100 miles from Broads dailymail.co.uk

    Residents close to a picturesque country lane were staggered to find the latest additions to their quiet corner of Hertfordshire were two fridge freezers and a 16ft boat. The Lapwing, still with its name and registration number on the stern, had been dumped on its keel in the entrance to a farmer's field on Holtsmere End Lane. ...

Monday 30 September

Today's news from the web

  • Improved T&M canal towpath opened alittlebitofstone.com

    The stretch of towpath between Barlaston and Meaford is now open to the public again after improvement works were finished ahead of schedule. Work on the notoriously muddy stretch got underway in February between Meaford Lock Bridge and the Plume of Feathers in Barlaston (bridges 98 to 103). The work was scheduled to take until November, but the full stretch opened again to walkers and cyclists on Friday 27th September, with new hard surfaces....

  • London Duck Tours suspends River Thames trips after fire bbc.co.uk

    Thirty people were rescued from the London Duck Tours craft on Sunday afternoon by the emergency services and a passing tourist boat. A statement on the firm's website said it would run a land-only service. A rescuer said one passenger told her that people found it "difficult" to get the life jackets out of their packets....

Friday 27 September

Today's news from the web

  • Solar voyage to Pewsey saves energy thisiswiltshire.co.uk

    Boater Gary Marsland received a warm reception when he arrived at Pewsey Wharf on Saturday after completing a 1,000-mile journey on his solar-powered narrowboat. The 51-year-old set out on his voyage to cruise the inland waterways of England, leaving no carbon footprint, in February 2012 from Brinklow, near Rugby. His 32-foot narrowboat, Merganser, was refitted with solar panels over the cabin roof which provided power to the electric outboard, a laptop, mobile phone, slow cooker and travel kettle....

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