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Tuesday 17 July

Today's news from the web

  • Yellow Submarine-themed floating hotel opens in Liverpool's Albert Dock dailymail.co.uk

    Beatles fans have long flocked to the Fab Four's hometown of Liverpool, perhaps calling in at the Cavern Club, where they found fame, or visiting the childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney. But now there is a new must-see attraction, paying homage to one of the group's quirkiest and best-known songs, a yellow submarine. Fans looking for the full Beatles experience can book accommodation in the unusual hotel, which is painted to look like the vessel on the cover of their record Yellow Submarine, and floats on a mooring in Albert Dock. ...

  • Huddersfield Canal reservoir 'pro-swimming signs' welcomed examiner.co.uk

    British Waterways caused controversy last year by putting up notices telling people to keep out of Sparth Reservoir [on the Huddersfield Canal]. Swimmers have used the watercourse near Marsden for generations. But Kirklees Council looks set to pay £1,000 for two replacement signs encouraging people to use the reservoir responsibly....

  • This is [the Olympic] Legacy thejunket.org

    In 2007, a group of us attempted to walk the circumference of the Olympic Park in Stratford. It was surrounded by a blue fence, the colour of the off-licence plastic bags strewn across the canal towpath and main roads of the route. ‘Demolish, Dig, Design’, promised lurid posters, their priorities clearly signalled. Peeking over the fence, the park looked to be in ‘demolish’ mode. In 2012, we tried again....

  • Melksham Link could put town back on the waterway map thisisbath.co.uk

    A hundred years after it last saw a barge, a West town that once thrived because of its canal links could be put back on the waterway map. But because the old route of the Wilts & Berks canal, which once joined Bristol and Bath to the Thames, has long since been built over in Melksham, an ambitious planning application has been submitted to councillors in Wiltshire to build a new canal through the centre of the town....

Friday 6 July

Today's news from the web

  • New York governor makes cabinet cycle Erie Canal online.wsj.com

    New York State governor Andrew Cuomo is sending several members of his cabinet by bicycle along the Erie Canal on parts of the 400-mile ride that starts Sunday. Officials say the eight-day tour from Buffalo to Albany will have about 500 cyclists and generally cover 40 to 60 miles daily, with overnights planned at schools or parks. ...

Thursday 5 July

Today's news from the web

Wednesday 4 July

Today's news from the web

  • Wigan flood nightmare returns thanks to collapsed culvert wigantoday.net

    Wigan residents are calling for more action to be taken after floods caused chaos and misery yet again. Beresford Street and adjoining Gorman Street in Springfield were awash once more after a downpour on Monday night - the second time in just 10 days. The problem appears to be a blocked pipe or a collapsed culvert under the Pagefield Industrial Estate, owned by British Waterways....

  • Constable's The Lock sells for £22m guardian.co.uk

    'The Lock', John Constable's painting of a boat being worked through a lock on the Stour navigation in Suffolk, has sold for £22,441,250, a world record price at auction for the artist. The Lock, finished in 1824, is the fifth in a celebrated series of six large-scale paintings of the Stour Valley that Constable exhibited between 1819 and 1825....

Tuesday 3 July

Olympic flame arrives at Foxton Locks

The Olympic torch came to Foxton Locks in Leicestershire on 2nd July. 

The torch bearer, Rob Gomez, a local cricket club chairman and charity fund raiser, travelled aboard the historic Cowburn & Cowpar working boat Swift, down and through one of the famous locks at Foxton, where he was met by Canal and River Trust chairman Tony Hales. 

Despite the wet weather a good crowd of local people gathered around Foxton Locks to welcome the torch to the waterways. 

Andrew Denny  | 4.12pm | add a comment

Staveley Basin Festival

Local residents flocked to the inaugural Staveley Canal Festival over the weekend of 30th June – 1st July at the new Staveley Town Basin, marking the current terminus of the five-mile restored section of the Chesterfield Canal. 

Geraint Coles, the development manager of the Chesterfield Canal Partnership, said it was expected to be an annual event, and marked the first time the basin had been put on the ‘public map’ since its official opening late last year. 

The Duke of Devonshire and George Wharmby, chair of Derbyshire County Council, jointly unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening, and the Duke went on to name the Trust’s brand new trip boat Hugh Henshall, the product of an award last year from the People’s Lottery.  

Canal stalwart John Lower had his narrowboat Madeley Wood craned into the basin so as to be able to cruise up to Chesterfield, and a Caraboat and large cruiser were launched using the new slipway.

A wide range of events entertained the local residents – the canoeing was particularly popular – who turned up in large numbers to see this latest addition to their canal scene.

Regular public boat trips operated to the Hollingwood Hub and a free heritage bus service was provided between Hollingwood, Staveley and the nearby Barrow Hill Round House which held a special steam weekend.

Staveley Basin, completed last year, has been developed as part of the Markham Vale regeneration project and will eventually incorporate start-up business units, training facilities, affordable cottages to rent and a bunk house for volunteers. It is planned that income generated by the development will support maintenance of the restored canal in future.

Above: Chair of Derbyshire County Council George Wharmby and the Duke of Devonshire (centre, L-R) unveil the plaque to commemorate the opening of Staveley Town Basin, 30th June 2012.

A model boat enthusiast sails his model schooner
at Staveley Canal Festival, 30th June 2012. 

Andrew Denny  | 3.06pm | 1 comment

Friday 29 June

Travellers' site application sparks fears about Lichfield Canal restoration

The Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust has expressed fears that restoration of the Lichfield canal could be obstructed, after a family of 'travellers' bought a field on the line of the canal just south of the M6 Toll motorway – and put in planning permission for a caravan site. 

On 11th June local councillors rejected the application, saying it represented “inappropriate development … harmful to the openness and visual amenity of this green belt location.”

The field has already been cleared of vegetation by the family, and was to have been concreted over to provide standing areas for six mobile homes, two touring caravans, utility buildings and septic tanks. Other amenities, not mentioned in the application, would also have been required by law if permission had been granted. 

The Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust was among the objectors, since the land lies directly on the line of the canal at the south end of the Lichfield canal aqueduct, installed when the M6 Toll was built. 

The site is also adjacent to where the famous ‘Staffordshire Hoard’ of Saxon treasures was discovered in 2009.  If permission had been granted, there were also fears that it might prevent a future Mercian visitor centre being built - or further archaeology taking place. 

In rejecting the application, little mention was made of the canal restoration. The canal restoration’s supporters now fear that a renewed bid could be made. it is reported that the local council may be short of its imposed target to make provision for travellers, so the decision is likely to go to appeal. This could lead to temporary permission for five years.

If it were to get approval, even temporary, the applicants would be ‘sitting pretty’ on the land. The canal trust fears that this could make restoration of the line up to Ogley Junction very problematic indeed.

The field at the end of the Lichfield aqueduct 
subject to a planning application for a traveller's camp site. The canal restoration would be made on an embankment at the end of the field, and would overlook the field.  

Andrew Denny  | 5.05pm | add a comment

Broads boaters encouraged to double moor

With the demand for mooring space far outstripping supply at many favourite Broads mooring sites, the Broads Authority is asking boaters to be more ready to share moorings.
Responding to feed-back from boat hirers that they sometimes have trouble finding moorings the Authority has identified 20 locations in the northern and southern Broads which are suited to double mooring.
Five free 24 hour moorings are being trialled in the northern Broads, and 15 in the southern Broads. They include Great Yarmouth Yacht Station, Norwich Yacht Station and Reedham Quay.
The moorings have been selected by taking into account the river width and strength of tides and new signs have been put up to encourage boaters to welcome others alongside.

The trial follows the Environment Agency’s successful 'Moor alongside' campaign on the River Thames to encourage boaters to moor alongside others.
Trudi Wakelin, Broads Authority Director of Operations, said: “New moorings can be very expensive and complex to get permissions. So one of the options we looked at to ease the pressure on mooring was to see which of our 63 moorings met our byelaw criteria for double mooring. We would encourage all boaters to be helpful and considerate to those who haven’t found a bank side mooring space and welcome them alongside.”
Tony Howes, Secretary of the Broads Hire Boat Federation, said that his members have been constantly reminded by hirers of the difficulty in finding mooring places at busy times on the Broads. 
He said: “This development should be very helpful if all boaters are made aware of the new rules.  We will shortly be distributing a notice for use at handover and in Skipper's Manuals to advise hirers of the opportunity to moor in this way - and the "etiquette" involved.”
Richard Card, Chairman of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association(NSBA) which represents private boaters, said: "The NSBA's recent survey of members identified shortage of moorings as a major problem. It is being addressed but the solution will take time. 

"The Broads Authority's initiative in identifying locations where double mooring is possible is to be welcomed as a short term mitigation of the problem. We would encourage skippers to behave considerately by maximising the capacity of popular moorings while treating fellow boaters with courtesy." 

Double-moored boats at Great Yarmouth.

Andrew Denny  | 12.32pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • Edinburgh Canal Festival launched this weekend local.stv.tv

    Once branded a 'derelict backwater', the waterway, linking from Edinburgh to Falkirk, has come a long way since its coal-transporting days of the 19th and early 20th century. ...But one group of enthusiasts, who have made it their aim to engage with canalside communities from Edinburgh Quay to Wester Hailes, have been singing its praises for the past eight years, and this Saturday, will transform the canal's Lochrin Basin into a waterside carnival. For the fourth year in a row, the Edinburgh Canal Festival will bring all the fun of the fair – on land and water-based – to celebrate the historic transport route....

  • Council steps in to save rotting Sutton Weaver swing bridge chesterchronicle.co.uk

    Cheshire West & Chester Council has agreed to pay £3.5m of the £4.5m cost of repairing the 90-year-old swing bridge over the River Weaver at Sutton Weaver. The cash will allow the re-strengthening required to enable the ageing bridge to cope in the future with its current 40-tonne vehicular weight restriction. “It has been a hard decision to make – particularly when money is so very tight – but the alternative is just not worth contemplating,” said Cllr Lynn Riley, executive member for community and environment....

Thursday 28 June

Today's news from the web

  • Shock at rent demand for Neath Canal 'back gardens' thisissouthwales.co.uk

    A group of residents with property bordering the Neath Canal face being charged for going into what has effectively become part of their back gardens. They have been looking after a small stretch of land between their gardens and Neath Canal for decades. But now they have been sent letters asking them to pay an annual rent on the land. Around eight homeowners at Penydre have been asked to pay a yearly rent — between £50 and £250 — by the Neath Canal Navigation Company. Residents said they knew the land was not part of their property, but they had been the only ones maintaining it for decades, by cutting the grass and removing Japanese knotweed. Nicola and Jonathan Davies have been requested to pay £50 a year because they have constructed a paved area up to the edge of the canal. ...

Tuesday 26 June

Today's news from the web

  • Rochdale Canal remains blocked after floods waterwaynews.blogspot.co.uk

    The Rochdale Canal will remain closed for several more days following last Friday's flooding. There are also several blockages to the towpath. The most serious problem for boaters is a boat blocking the canal near Hebden Bridge. As river levels rose rapidly, a torrent of water flooded onto the canal below Lock 12. A section of towpath was ripped up by the water and a moored boat was torn from its mooring pins and carried half a mile down the canal. The boat was then swept onto an overspill weir and was left stranded across the canal, with its bow resting on the overspill weir and its stern embedded in the opposite bank. Fortunately there was no-one on board the boat at the time. British Waterways staff are assessing how the boat can be re-floated and the canal will remain closed to through navigation until this has been achieved....

  • C&O Canal boat soon to be destroyed and become history georgetowner.com

    The beloved Chesapeake & Ohio Canal boat, the Georgetown, is leaving us. The 19th-century style, mule-pulled, 90-foot cargo boat sits on blocks on the canal between 33rd and Thomas Jefferson Streets. Captivating visitors for a ride along the C&O Canal for decades, the boat has deteriorated and is deemed unsafe for passengers....

  • Queen and Duke watch river pageant google.com

    The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have watched a river pageant as they joined thousands of guests at a Diamond Jubilee garden party. The royal couple were applauded by guests and by several hundred people who gathered on the opposite banks to watch as they arrived by passenger steamer at the party in the grounds of Henley Business School near the picturesque town of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. More than 30 vessels including a Viking Boat crewed by University of Reading rowers featured in the flotilla celebrating the history of the River Thames....

  • Repairing Britain's damaged landscapes bbc.co.uk

    The Industrial Revolution, which made Britain the powerhouse of the world in the 19th Century, may have been consigned to the history books but it has left a legacy of environmental problems. Experts warn it continues to pollute drinking water, poison rivers and threaten flooding and in the process it fuels climate change and affects huge swathes of the modern landscape. The mining of lead, tin and other metals is thought to have contaminated nearly 2,000 miles of waterways. Estimated repair costs run into the hundreds of millions....

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