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Monday 11 March

Today's news from the web

  • Brentford Lock Toll House opened as museum brentfordtw8.com

    One of London’s smallest museums, based in a Grade II Listed Toll House at Brentford Lock, is going to be opened every Friday by volunteers for the Canal & River Trust. Visitors will be able to find out about the history of the waterways and why Brentford Lock, at the junction between the Thames and the Grand Union Canal, played such an important role when London’s canals and rivers were a transport gateway to the rest of the world. The Toll House dates from 1900s, when the building would have contained ledgers that recorded the type and weight of cargo passing through the lock. The boats would pay a toll on the cargo they carried. ...

Thursday 7 March

Today's news from the web

  • Hereford & Gloucester Canal development at Dymock set to be refused again thisisgloucestershire.co.uk

    Plans to restore a stretch of the Hereford to Gloucester canal in Dymock look set to be rejected – again. The scheme, on land off Western Way, would see 20 new homes built around a new section of the waterway. It was initially tabled in March last year but the proposals were withdrawn at the last minute after planners earmarked it to be refused. Since then, applicants the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust and Two Rivers Housing have gone back to the table and revised plans are set to go before Forest of Dean District Council's development committee on Tuesday. ...

  • Review: A Narrow Margin of Error by Faith Martin oxfordtimes.co.uk

    You learn something new every day. I’ve only just discovered that all the titles in Faith Martin’s detective series include the word ‘narrow’ because she herself lives on a narrow boat. It’s obviously no coincidence that the heroine of the novels lives on a narrow boat too, moored at Thrupp. As Lewis and Hathaway leave our TV screens, possibly for ever, it’s good for us Oxfordites to know that there is another detective mind addressing the multitude of fictional murders that occur in and around our city....

Wednesday 6 March

Broads boating group changes name

A new Broads boat owners' pressure group, which was started only a few weeks ago, has quickly decided to change its name .

The Norfolk & Suffolk Broads Owners Association soon decided that its name was 'a little too close' to another boating organisation. Before the name became too deeply embedded, it decided to rename itself the Broads Toll Payers Association (BTPA) – reflecting that toll paying (boat licensing) issues are the main focus of the group.

Dave Standley, spokesman for the organisation said, “This is an important step for us and one that we had to make early-on to prevent confusion.

“Our membership has grown rapidly but feedback suggested that the old name should be quickly retired."

Andrew Denny  | 4.47pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • Boat rally part of 2013 Ellesmere Festival to be cancelled due to lack of volunteers shropshirestar.com

    The boat rally held on the Shropshire Union Canal as part of Ellesmere Festival will not be held this year after organisers said they did not have enough volunteers to run the event. And there will also be no fireworks at this year’s festival, which is due to be held for the 30th time from September 13 to 15. The news has been greeted with disappointment by civic leaders in the town – but festival organisers have vowed to carry on with the three-day event. ...

  • The Forth & Clyde Canal's art once had greater Emin-style eminence heraldscotland.com

    Letter in Glasgow Herald: David J Crawford congratulates whoever is responsible for the extensive community art on the banks of the Forth and Clyde canal ( Letters, March 4) and enthuses over haphazard detritus, the variety of soft drink and lager cans diffused by the fluorescent blues of plastic cider bottles. But these are insipid and unimaginative compared to the glorious art we had before the Millenium regeneration of the canal when three-piece suites, fridges, other white goods, supermarket trollies, bicycles, the odd motorcycle and even a partly-submerged Morris Traveller could be viewed on the stretch between Bowling and Maryhill. I blame the decline in creativity on misguided environmental initiatives. R Russell Smith....

  • Go-ahead for Liverpool waterfront skyscraper development independent.co.uk

    English Heritage expressed its disappointment today after Communities Secretary Eric Pickles gave the go-ahead to a controversial skyscraper development on the banks of the Mersey fuelling fears that Liverpool’s historic waterfront will now be stripped of its World Heritage Status. Britain could now become only the third country to lose the prestigious inscription when the World Heritage Committee meets in Cambodia in June after placing the city’s mercantile Pier Head area on the in-danger register last year. Architectural groups have warned that plans for the £5.5bn high rise development on the site of derelict dockland will create a Dubai-style skyline which will dwarf Liverpool’s Three Graces buildings....

Tuesday 5 March

Today's news from the web

  • Derbyshire MP: ‘Chesterfield Canal sunk by £33 billion HS2 train’ derbyshiretimes.co.uk

    Letter from Natascha Engel, MP for NE Derbyshire, to the Derbyshire Times, 5th March: "Chesterfield Canal has always been very special to me. After I was elected in 2005, my first official engagement as MP was to take part in the Chesterfield Canal celebrations at Tapton Lock. "But the High Speed Rail link from London to Leeds (HS2) has put a stop to all of that. The plans were announced and the route unveiled last month. Canals and railways have traditionally always worked together. Now, for the first time, the railway is working against the canal..."...

Monday 25 February

Today's news from the web

  • WWII 'Idle Women' canal poster girl Audrey Harper found in Tasmania abc.net.au

    An international search for the famous poster girl of the WWII British home front effort has ended in a Hobart, Tasmania, nursing home. At 22, Audrey Harper put her Swiss finishing school behind her for the physically demanding and dirty work of a canal woman. She spent almost three years ferrying coal and war supplies. "It was probably some of the best years of my life," she said. Researchers have been looking for the war effort poster girl for years, finally tracing the 91-year-old to her Hobart nursing home....

Sunday 24 February

Today's news from the web

  • Ripon Marina moorings to become residential ripongazette.co.uk

    Moorings at Ripon’s racecourse marina have been given the green light to become the site of permanent barge homes. Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the application by British Waterways Marinas Ltd to change the use of 18 moorings at the site to form full residential mooring status....

Friday 22 February

Today's news from the web

  • Residents want W&B canal back in Swindon masterplan swindonadvertiser.co.uk

    The grand plan for an overhaul of Swindon town centre could be set to get its own makeover – after consulted residents said they wanted the idea of a canal reinstated. The majority of about 100 respondents to Forward Swindon’s Masterplan consultation claimed they wanted to see the canal running through the pedestrianised town centre area, while much of the rest of the plan remains unchanged. The firm have been charged by Swindon Council with regenerating the town, and unveiled its view of the shape of things to come in around 10 to 15 years time, back in September at the Central Library, for public scrutiny....

Thursday 21 February

Today's news from the web

  • 'Grand Western Canal bank breach was a disaster waiting to happen' thisisnorthdevon.co.uk

    The potential failure of the water management system on the Grand Western Canal was discussed months before the devastating breach in November, a councillor says. Anglers, businesses and other custodians of the 199-year-old waterway had previously debated their concerns over the possibility of a disaster. ​ Grand Western Canal breach in November Welcoming Devon County Council's decision to invest £3m in repairing, restoring and modernising the canal, Councillor Des Hannon said "important lessons were learnt" following the embankment collapse last which has left two incomplete sections of the waterway. Read more: http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/Grand-Western-Canal-bank-breach-disaster-waiting/story-18190857-detail/story.html#ixzz2LYKC1YCi Follow us: @ThisisNDevon on Twitter | thisisnorthdevon on Facebook...

  • Plans revealed for new water taxi stations on Manchester Ship Canal manchestereveningnews.co.uk

    Town hall chiefs are splashing out on five new stations for the water taxi set to run between Manchester city centre and Salford Quays. The five pontoons for the so-called ‘waxi’ will dot the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Irwell – part of £3.1m transport improvements by Salford council including new cycle routes to MediaCity and the reopening of a footbridge across the Irwell....

  • Harecastle tunnel offered for sale by the government bbc.co.uk

    A disused Victorian railway tunnel in Staffordshire has been offered for sale by the government. The Harecastle railway tunnel at Kidsgrove was built in 1848 and has been disused since the 1960s. Railway historian Basil Jeuda said the tunnel was "an important link in the development of a national rail system". The Department of Transport said a sale will only be made to "a public body" able to take on the maintenance of the mile-long tunnel....

  • Chesterfield Canal Trust demands discussions with HS2 officials itv.com

    Chesterfield Canal Trust says it 'welcomes' news that discussions have been taking place between HS2 Ltd. and local authorities over the route of the new line between London and Leeds, but has warned the proposals 'serve to blight' further regeneration of the waterway. It comes after concerns were raised over the impact the line would have on the 300-year-old canal and amid claims the route was drawn up using out of date maps. HS2 Ltd. said the route is 'the Government's initial preferred route' and it is now able to 'address concerns about specific sites'....

  • Canal work delay is harming business, says Apperley Bridge Marina owner thetelegraphandargus.co.uk

    A marina owner is taking a compensation battle to an industry watchdog following delays to renovation work on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal after a 64-tonne crane tumbled into the water two weeks ago. Steve Wright said Apperley Bridge Marina had been landlocked since November as work is undertaken at Dobson Locks at one end and Field Locks at the other. But because of the accident and poor weather some of the maintenance is behind schedule....

Wednesday 20 February

Today's news from the web

  • Pylon plans mean Montgomery Canal marina is put on hold shropshirestar.com

    Developers have put on hold plans to create a canalside marina near Oswestry after learning it is in the path of a proposed 40,000 volt line of electricity pylons. National Grid wants feed electricity generated from wind farms in Mid Wales through Shropshire and into the national power network. But the proposed route comes near the Montgomeryshire Canal at Queens Head, where Morris Leisure wants to create a marina and other attractions in the hope of attracting thousands of tourists every year. Its plans are now on hold....

Tuesday 19 February

Leominster canal aqueduct collapses

The Rea Aqueduct, on the disused Kington, Leominster and Stourport Canal, has suffered a major partial collapse. The towpath on the aqueduct constitutes a public right-of-way over the River Rea and the footpath has been officially closed. 

Designed by Thomas Dadford Junior and built in 1792-3, the Rea Aqueduct all-brick single arch span ( 13.7m) was the largest of its time. Despite John Rennie’s critical comments on its design in his 1795 survey, and showing increasing signs of weathering in recent years, it has survived for over 200 years.

The collapsed is centred on its brick-lined canal trough, which has now revealed long-hidden construction secrets. Since 2000, the Rea Aqueduct has been a Grade 2-listed structure and its fate will now be decided by English Heritage in conjunction with Worcestershire and Shropshire County Councils. Although Worcestershire have placed the closure notice the aqueduct sits on the border between the two counties and Shropshire is also therefore involved. This involvement of two councils is likely to delay decision on its future. 

David Slater

Andrew Denny  | 3.13pm | 1 comment

Monday 18 February

Today's news from the web

  • Recovering crane from L&L canal at Apperley Bridge 'will be a big challenge’ thetelegraphandargus.co.uk

    The “unusual challenge” of shifting a 64-ton crane which crashed into the Leeds-Liverpool Canal a week ago means no-one can say when it will be moved. The huge all-terrain machine, thought to be worth £500,000, was being used by the Canal & River Trust. It was doing preparation work to replace lock-gates at Dobson Locks at Apperley Bridge when the accident happened on Friday. The towpath collapsed under the weight of the Tadano Faun crane, which can lift 90 tons, in an accident the Trust said was “rare”....

  • How much longer to wait for the Diglis Basin bridge to open? worcesternews.co.uk

    A footbridge which is the missing link in a riverside revamp should be reopened as soon as possible, says a leading councillor. Derek Prodger, the city and county councillor for Worcester’s Bedwardine ward, says the bridge over Diglis Basin has been ready for use for more than a year after it was renovated by Taylor Wimpey as part of its development in the area. The walkway completes a circular riverside route which includes the new Diglis Bridge over the Severn, but Coun Prodger is concerned that it is not yet open to the public because of the delay caused by the Diglis Basin crossing. The bridge belongs to the Canal and River Trust, while the right of way over it is the responsibility of Worcestershire County Council. The council said it was working with the trust to overcome safety concerns, including putting up ‘cyclists dismount on dock bridge’ signs, to help the reopening process....

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