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Narrowboat Maid Of The Mist (Provisionally) Gets A Part Through Unitbase.co.uk In A Japanese Hair Wax Commercial, Filmed In London

Narrowboat Maid Of The Mist (Provisionally) Gets A Part Through Unitbase.co.uk In A Japanese Hair Wax Commercial, Filmed In London

After a photographic recce at Little Venice in London, NB Maid of the Mist were awarded a 'getaway boat' part in the leading Japanese hair wax product commercial to be shot in the next few weeks.

After a photographic recce at Little Venice in London, NB Maid of the Mist were awarded a 'getaway boat' part in the leading Japanese hair wax product commercial to be shot in the next few weeks.After being approached by a UK locations company in May Maid of the Mist was auditioned with other canal craft by around fifteen heads from the Japanese advertising promotion production team.

They needed a boat with a stern big enough for four Japanese men, modelling a leading Japanese hair wax product, being pursued through the streets of London by around 40 young women. The men see a narrowboat just about to leave its moorings and jump aboard, hoping for a quick getaway!

Who knows what happens next!

After a photographic recce at Little Venice in London, NB Maid of the Mist were awarded a 'getaway boat' part in the leading Japanese hair wax product commercial to be shot in the next few weeks.The skipper of the narrowboat will be Graham Beven (made-up of course!); ex-owner of CanalCuttings.co.uk - his good lady Jean being relegated to the towpath, looking after the dog!

The shooting will take place on one day in July for around six hours, as there will be film shots taken from the top of the boat; behind and at the side of the boat at tow path level and the same from an elevated position.

After a photographic recce at Little Venice in London, NB Maid of the Mist were awarded a 'getaway boat' part in the leading Japanese hair wax product commercial to be shot in the next few weeks.All good fun but as it was pointed out to us, all filming on British Waterways property must be authorised and fees paid!

To ensure everything is done right why not use Unitbase - As film location agents Unitbase.co.uk have wide experience of managing location productions for film, drama, television, music promos, virals, events, product launches and stills photography. Unitbase.co.uk represents the multinational location portfolios of several corporate clients' including National Car Parks (NCP), British Waterways, Hammerson PLC, Heathrow Express, Stanstead Express, VSM Estates Limited and many others who have had great success using their property as film locations. The addition of such amazing spaces into Unitbase.co.uk's database means Unitbase can offer an outstanding range of film locations, including high rise views, city skylines, urban decay, empty spaces and much more.

Unitbase.co.uk offers a free scouting service to find locations for productions that are not already in their library. So why not give Unitbase.co.uk with your location brief? They are waiting to hear from you so they can help...contact Unitbase.co.uk on 020 7239 8906 or email [email protected]



A Winter Journey by D. L. Turner -
A Journey He Took On NB Hyperion

A Winter Journey - Writen as an article in the English Electric apprentice journal, ‘Willans Lines’, in 1944.

During the war there was a shortage of boat crews on the canals. In much the same way as the Land Girls, women and children were called in to help. One of these was a girl I knew called Christian. I was there-fore very pleased when one evening, early in January, 1944, she rang up to say that she and her mate were stopping in Berkhamsted, my home town, for the night, and, as they were short-handed, would I like to go with them and help?

Next morning was fine and frosty with just a few ice floes on the water when I cycled up the tow path in my oldest clothes to join them. I overtook them at a lock about two miles north of the town and as the boats were just approaching the lock as I came up I went ahead to get it ready. It is usual practice for each pair of boats—the Motor and the Butty towed behind—to have a crew of three; one to steer each boat and one, a lock wheeler, who goes ahead, usually by cycle, to get the locks ready. I will not bore you with a detailed description of the process of negotiating a lock—you can see it any time at Hillmorton. I shall just content myself by saying that there is a great deal more to it than meets the eye.

After passing through three or four more locks we reached the summit level—the highest point on this part of the canal. Here the canal runs level for about three miles before it begins to drop again, which gave a good opportunity for lunch as one member of the crew was free to get it ready. Lunch was always rather a disorganized and sketchy meal. It would usually consist of something of the stewy nature that could all be cooked at once, and when one is cooking in the cabin and steering the boat at the same time, as often happens when passing locks or if the third member of the crew has gone to the nearest town to shop, one is not tempted to serve complicated meals! The serving of the mid-day meal is awkward too as no one ever stops for meals. In locks it can be easily handed from boat to boat, but in a long reach (or "Pound") one can only get off or on while the boat is passing through a bridge, where the canal is narrow. To get from the Butty to the Motor means jumping off at one bridge and running ahead to the next before the Motor arrives.

Soon after dark we tied up having covered about twelve miles and passed through fifteen locks. After supper, the main meal of the day, we went over to the pub for a drink and then to bed.

Next day was much the same. We were roused by the alarm clock at about half-past six. After breakfast Christian and I went into the engine room to start up while the third member of the crew washed up and tidied. These boats are powered by a two-cylinder National Oil Engine of, I believe, about 12 horse-power. They are started by turning the engine over by hand with the inlet valve held open until a good speed is got up,when the lifter is suddenly released, the inertia of the flywheel carrying it over the compression. The engine then fires and starts. At least that is what is supposed to happen. As our engine had leaky valves (and, as I have said, it was freezing) the starting procedure was rather different. First we gave the fuel injection pumps a really good prime to form a layer of fuel oil over the piston crown, thus both reducing the leakage and in¬creasing the compression ratio. As the engine still refused to start we poured a little lubricating oil on the inlet valves; perhaps an unorthodox method of upper-cylinder lubrication but in the end we always managed to get the engine going.

After about six locks from our tie-up there is a long pound to Fenny Stratford lock (near Bletchley). This lock has a drop of only about six inches and beyond it is another long pound. The story goes that this length of canal was built from opposite ends and that a mistake was made in the surveying. The engineer committed suicide, but whether for this reason is not known. Perhaps he drowned himself in the offending lock!

The next lock, which we did not reach until the following day, is at Wolverton, where the canal crosses the Ouse on a cast iron aqueduct. This can just be seen from the railway to the north of the town. From here it is about ten miles to the seven locks at Stoke Bruerne, which we reached about tea-time. It was here that our first major mishap overtook us. Just as we were leaving the top lock but one the Motor suddenly ceased to pull. The engine was still running but was obviously not driving the propeller; so we pulled the boats through the last lock by hand and tied up to the quay. We soon found that while the drive was entering the gear-box it was not coming out, As we felt that anything wrong with the gear-box should be left to the fitter we rang up the depot for him. We spent the rest of the day splicing tow ropes, which are all too easy to break by taking up the strain suddenly when leaving a lock. We spent the next day generally cleaning and tidying up the boats as the fitter failed to put in an appearance. He finally drove up in his van as we were washing up breakfast on the following day.

As it turned out that the gear-box coupling had only lost its bolts he soon put it right. We had suspected a coupling—they are a frequent cause of trouble—but this one was hidden under part of the gear-box so I did not realize it was there.

Almost as soon as we started we dived into Blisworth tunnel. Going through a canal tunnel is an experience not to be missed. As the boats enter the noise of the engine rises to twice or thrice its normal level and, as the light fades from the walls the green circle behind quickly shrinks. After a few minutes, when one's eyes have become accustomed to the dark, the pinprick of light that is one's goal appears. The head¬light of the motor throws a wan light on the walls of. the tunnel leaving a black hole into which one attempts to steer a steady course. Every five minutes or so a ventilation shaft swings past overhead, letting in the bright glare of day for a moment, then making the darkness seem even more intense. In the wall of one of these shafts there is a spring from which water splashes down into the centre of the tunnel soaking the unwary boatman. All things come to an end and before long the point of light begins to grow; slowly at first until in an instant the booming sound of the engine falls away. The tunnel is passed. That day we went through a second tunnel at Braunston just before we tied up for the night at Braunston top lock.

In the morning we did not start until after full daylight as the alarm failed to go off. This earned us some angry words from a boat coming the opposite way which wished to pass, as we had tied up right in the mouth of the lock blocking the way. At the bottom lock we passed the Braunston dry dock in which a boat had been laid up for three weeks with a broken stern tube. This dock is alongside the lock so that it can, be drained easily by letting the water flow out into the lower pound. This was the last day of my trip as I had to be home that evening. It was also the day of our worst accident.

At Napton junction the Oxford Canal goes straight on while the route to Birmingham branches off sharp right; over the branch is a new concrete bridge for the tow-path. I was steering the butty and the third member of the crew was in the butty cabin beginning to get dinner ready. When we came to the turn I misjudged it, taking it too wide. When we were half-way round it was clear that we could not get through the bridge—I could do nothing but wait for the bang. We hit the wall squarely, coming to a dead stop. I leave it to you to work out what force is required to stop thirty tons travelling at three mph in next to no time. That force was enough to stop the boat but it did not stop the oil stove or my mate in the cabin, or the cargo of steel bars. The stove flew on to the floor and burst into flames, the mate went through the front door of the cabin breaking the bolt on the way, and the bars moved forward about 18 inches. We soon got the fire out and, after tidying everything up, did not find a lot of damage. The tea cloths were almost completely consumed, a few cups and plates were broken, and the bedding was a bit singed. Not till long after did I hear that they had had to spend all that evening shifting the cargo back, as the boat was so down at the bows that she was shipping water in locks.

Little more of note happened that day and at about four o'clock I reluctantly left them outside Leamington to catch my train home.

D. L. Turner.

Postscript, 2011.

My skipper was Christian Vlasto whose portrait was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum to represent the women who crewed the canal boats during the war. An honour she shared with other representatives of those who efforts had contributed to victory. She later married Ghulam Abbas and moved to Pakistan.

Bernard Hailstone painted Christian Vlasto, "a Canal-boat Woman" In 1944. Click on the following link to see the image. (We are not prepared to pay the licensing fee for reproduction of digital files). The painting is © crown copyright. Imperial War Museum Reference: IWM ART LD 4950 - The painting shows a three-quarter portrait of Vlasto, seated with hands on hips, slight sketch of a canal boat in background.




Llangollen Canal - Ponty Aquaduct and All!

Llangollen canal route

Llangollen Canal - Llangollen WharfThe Llangollen Canal is one of the best known canals – mainly through the 1000 foot long Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (pont - cu - suck - lee) at Trevor. At 120 feet it is the highest aqueduct in the UK and one of the seven wonders of the UK canals if not number one of the seven. The aqueduct was one of Thomas Telford’s finest achievements. The canal is actually The Llangollen Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal and starts at Hurleston Junction on the Shropshire Union Canal in England and follows the contours of the land as closely as possible to Llangollen in North Wales.

a Llangollen horse Llangollen is also the home to: The Horse Drawn Boat Centre (The Horse Drawn Boat Centre Llangollen Started in 1884 horse drawn passenger boat trips began along the Llangollen Canal) - Llangollen Museum; Llangollen Motor Museum; Llangollen Railway and The Lllangollen Museum.

The Llangollen Canal is a feeder canal with the main source of water from the River Dee at Llangollen's Horseshoe Falls.

Junction Shrophire Union

You can hire a narrowboat through Hoseasons, based at Whittington boatyard, Shropshire - about 25 miles from the start (or end) of the Hurleston Junction. They'll point the sharp end towards Llangollen (or which ever way you want to go) and away you go. The first lock is miles away so the helpful staff can't actually show you how to negotiate that hurdle! You will, however, be given an instruction manual and the necessary tools.

Picture of junction of the Llangollen Canal with Shropshire Union



Cruising through picturesque countryside, farmland and small hamlets you eventually come to Chirk, with its 70 foot high aqueduct and 450 metre long tunnel. Chirk has a well visited castle about a mile from the canal.

Leaving Chirk and passing Chirk Marina and another tunnel, you The Llangollen Canal - The ‘Ponty’ as the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct at Trevor is affectionately known.are now heading for the Vale of Llangollen and the ‘Ponty’ as the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct at Trevor is affectionately known.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Construction - Llangollen Canal -The aqueduct is built on the local bedrock, each of the 18 piers is constructed of local stone, rising to a maximum height of 116ft (about 35m) above the River Dee.

Crossing the Ponty is real adventure for first timers. The 120 feet down to the River Dee seems an awful lot more when you are crossing, especially for people with vertigo! Once you are over the Ponty there is the Trevor Basin and a bridge off to the left.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct General - Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Trevor, Llangollen Canal Section of the Shropshire Union.

Horseshoe Falls - Llangollen Canal Past this point the canal narrows with regular passing places. The canal is towered over by limestone cliffs. The limestone, one of the reasons why the canal was constructed in the first place, was to carry the limestone to the industrial heartland of England. Arriving at Llangollen basin you may be met by one of the horse drawn canal boats that ply their trade on the ‘closed’ section of canal through the town. Llangollen is home to a canal exhibition, Horseshoe Falls and free entry Llangollen Museum.

Pontcysyllte AqueductReturning back downstream passed the Welsh Lady Cruisers boatyard at Whittington heading due east to Frankton Locks at the junction of the Montgomery Canal. There are restrictions on boat numbers on the Montgomery now so you now have to book your passage down here with BW at least 24 hours before passage.

Staying on the Llangollen Canal heading north east to Ellesmere. There is a small branch that goes in towards the town centre and a marina just past the branch on the main canal. Passing closely to Blake Mere on the port side and a little further Cole Mere and the Cole Mere Country Park to the starboard.

Cruising on though farm land and woodland, passing the Preece Branch Junction at Dobson’s Bridge you are now heading for the basin in Whitchurch. Going further north the Llangollen canal ends (or begins again) at Hurlseton Junction.

Lift bridge Llangollen Canal




Recycled Gas Cylinder Planters - How I Made A Recycled Gas Cylinder Planter

by Albert Steptoe

I have seen enough discarded gas cylinders around the inland waterways to sink a cross channel ferry! So we decided to recycle them as you can't get 'the deposit' back unless you have the original receipt.

Gas Cylinder Safety - Never tamper with a gas cylinder that may have gas in it!

Legally you can never become the 'owner' of a gas cylinder, it always belongs to the company who's name is on it: Calor Gas, Shell Gas, Budget Gas etc. but if the cylinder is a rusting hulk that I pick up in or adjacent to the canal I assume that the company are not going to want it back to refill!

This is how I made my planters from recycled gas cylinders.

You will note that I'm not telling you how to do this - this is how I did it.

Be warned! AN EXPLODING GAS CYLINDER CAN KILL!

Recycled Gas Cylinder Planters - How I Made A Recycled Gas Cylinder Planter I took one empty foundling gas bottle and de-gassed it by way of a proprietary valve and finally by depressing the release button in outlet of the brass tap.

Do not smoke or get anywhere near any kind of naked flame at this stage!

Once the cylinder pressure has been fully equalised to the outside air pressure I removed the tap from the cylinder with a suitable spanner.

I then inverted the cylinder for a few hours to drain out any remaining gas, as the gas is heavier than air.

As an added safety precaution - I filled the cylinder to the top with water, rinse and and then drained.
Recycled Gas Cylinder Planters - How I Made A Recycled Gas Cylinder Planter
I took a disc cutter with a suitable metal cutting disc and sliced the cylinder to suit - in two in this example.

[Editor's note - even after cleaning the cylinder may contain traces of gas]
Recycled Gas Cylinder Planters - How I Made A Recycled Gas Cylinder Planter
The top section of the gas bottle has a natural drain hole where the gas tap was removed but the tap guard makes a poor base.
Recycled Gas Cylinder Planters - How I Made A Recycled Gas Cylinder Planter
To make a suitable 'foot' - I sliced off the majority of the metal leaving a lip that is slightly deeper than the main body of the cylinder.
Recycled Gas Cylinder Planters - How I Made A Recycled Gas Cylinder Planter
The planter will stand on its new foot.

I paint the new garden plant container at this stage.

I added some 'crocks' to the bottom of the planter before adding the potting compost.

As I'm an angler, I like to add a couple of worms to each planter as they will not only help keep the soil fresh and digest any leaf litter etc but will multiply - giving me a small but constant supply of fishing bait!
Recycled Gas Cylinder Planters - How I Made A Recycled Gas Cylinder Planter

Left - The top half of the cylinder - painted and planted out.
Recycled Gas Cylinder Planters - How I Made A Recycled Gas Cylinder Planter
I make sure I drill some drainage holes in planter created from the 'bottom' half of the cylinder.

Left - The bottom half as a finished project, painted and planted out.

Be warned when full of damp compost and plants these containers are very heavy!



Zander

The Zander also known as the pikeperch is now an established UK freshwater fish species: Stizostedion lucioperca. Originally a native of Eastern Europe but introduced to England, Germany and France since the 1980's.

Zander - Stizostedion lucioperca

The Zander is a predatory fish, hunting predominantly at dusk and dawn in cloudy water where it seeks out small bream, bleak, roach, rudd, perch etc. Growing to about 130cm (over 4ft!), it is considered a sporting fish by anglers - although we believe a pike of the same size offers more of a fight! A good fish is around 60cm (2ft).

The colouration varies slightly from light brown to greenish-grey on the back, becoming lighter below the lateral line. The tail and dorsal fins have dark spots.

Zander are now found in many rivers, canals and lakes where they can upset the environment's natural balance of native aquatic life found there. Because of this danger, it is illegal for people to keep, release, or sell certain non-native fish species without a licence.

In inland Europe the Zander is an important food-fish with considerable efforts made to increase the native stocks by rearing in hatcheries. The Zander is easier to fillet than a pike as it doesn't have the 'floating' bones along the lateral line.

The UK Environment Agency has made efforts to stop the spread of the Zander, using bubble nets on canals and using electric netting but this does not seem to stop the spread.

We caught a Zander on the Coventry Canal at: MAP


Is This The Start Of Another Alien Invasion? - 24th August 2011 - Grand Union Canal, Paddington Arm - Alperton Visitor Moorings.

A dark red crayfish with bright red spines on the forelegs and claws - P. clarkii

A species of freshwater crayfish Procambarus clarkii was landed by an angler, this creature is a species native to the Southeastern United States, also known as the red swamp crawfish or crayfish, Louisiana crawfish, Louisiana crayfish or mudbug.

A dark red crayfish with bright red spines on the forelegs and claws - P. clarkii is normally found along the Gulf Coast from northern Mexico to the Florida panhandle, as well as inland, to southern Illinois and Ohio in warm fresh water, such as slowly-flowing rivers, canals, etc., being able to tolerate dry spells of up to four months.

A dark red crayfish with bright red spines on the forelegs and claws - P. clarkii
Capable of reaching an excess of 50 grams, and up to 12 centimeters long. It is also able to tolerate slightly saline water, which is unusual for a crayfish. The average lifetime of Procambarus clarkii is 5 to 6 years.

The Environment Agency specialist in crayfish wanted the specimen (frozen) to compare with samples already taken from a site in London where there already appears to be a breeding colony!

Procambarus clarkii normally reproduces sexually, but recent research suggests it may also reproduce by parthenogenesis - a form of asexual reproduction found in females, where growth and development of embryos occurs without fertilization by a male.

Louisiana crawfish Recipe

Boil in a pot with heavy seasoning (salt, cayenne pepper, lemon, garlic, bay leaves, etc.) and other items such as potatoes, corn on the cob, onions, garlic, and sausage.

Don't ignore it, report it! - Report a UK Environmental Incident - 0800 80 70 60 (Calls may be charged from mobiles).


Canal Aqueducts

The UK canal system has literally hundreds of canal aqueducts, commonly misspelled as aquaduct.

Just like bridges for roads and railways, some canals need to cross over obstacles too. In the UK there are opportunities to cross over rivers, other canals, railway tracks, roads and motorways.

Major aqueducts are fantastic engineering feats, older ones bring the relationship of the sets of arches running parallel with one another to conjures up images of Roman grandeur.

Here are some of the better known examples of UK canal aqueducts:

Almond Canal Aqueduct - Union Canal - Scotland - River AlmondAlmond Aqueduct on the Union Canal, Scotland over the River Almond

Avon Aqueduct on the Union Canal is Scotland's longest and tallest aqueduct

Avoncliff Aqueduct on the Kennet and Avon Canal by John Rennie

Barton Swing Aqueduct on the Bridgewater Canal by Sir Edward Leader Williams carries the Bridgewater Canal over the Manchester Ship Canal. This aqueduct swings to let large vessels pass below.

Bonnington Aqueduct on the Union Canal, near the M8

Chirk Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal adjacent to the Chirk Railway Viaduct

Clifton Aqueduct on the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal now a Grade II listed building adjacent to the Clifton Viaduct

Cosgrove Aqueduct on the Grand Union Canal by Benjamin Bevan built to replace an earlier aqueduct which collapsed.

Dundas Aqueduct on the Kennet and Avon Canal by John Rennie in a classical style, now a Scheduled Ancient Monument

Engine Arm Canal Aqueduct on the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN)Engine Arm Aqueduct on the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Cast by the Horseley Ironworks

Ewood Aqueduct on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Greenbank Aqueduct on the Union Canal near the Falkirk Wheel, Scotland

Lichfield Canal Aqueduct over the M6 Toll Road on the Lichfield Canal is a modern construction for the canal under restoration; not yet 'in water' (2009)

Nantwich Aqueduct over the A534, Chester RoadNantwich Aqueduct on the Shropshire Union Canal over the A534, Chester Road, just south of Nantwich Basin. - MAP

New Semington Aqueduct is a modern concrete structure that carries the Kennet and Avon Canal over the new bypass carriageway of A350 road, at Semington in west Wiltshire, England. It has two channels of 5m with a 3.5m towpath and a 3.5m maintenance access path on either side.

"Viking Afloat" hire boat on the Pontcysyllte AqueductPontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal, Trevor, Wales by Thomas Telford a cast iron trough 1,007 feet long supported 126 feet above the river by 19 masonry piers. See our page - Construction of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct - MAP

Prestolee Aqueduct on the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, now a Grade II listed building

Scott Russell Aqueduct on the Union Canal, Scotland, passes over the A720 Edinburgh Bypass

Slateford Aqueduct on the Union Canal, Scotland

Stanley Ferry Aqueduct on the Aire and Calder Navigation by George Leather is one of the earliest compression arch suspended-deck bridges in the world

Store Street Aqueduct on the Ashton Canal by Benjamin Outram was built on a skew of 45 degrees across the highway, and believed to be the first of its kind in Great Britain.

Stretton Canal Aqueduct on the Shropshire Union CanalStretton Aqueduct is close to Stretton Wharf on the Shropshire Union Canal over the A5 Trunk Road by Thomas Telford one of his last aqueducts and grade II listed since 1985. The inscription in the centre panel reads: "Birmingham and Liverpool Canal Thos. Telford F.R.S.I.& E. Engineer 1832" - MAP

Tividale Canal Aqueduct (Old BCN Main Line)Tividale Canal Aqueduct on the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Old Main Line is also the Netherton Tunnel northern portal on the Netherton Tunnel Branch Canal, in the West Midlands, is also part of the BCN. - MAP

We will add photos and details as we come across more canal aqueducts on our cruises.






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Three men in Three boats on the Newport Canal

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Canal & River Trust Conclude - Roving Mooring Permits Cannot Be Used To Deal With Localised Mooring Congestion

Leicester Riverside Festival 2014 - Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 June

Norbury Canal Festival - Norbury Junction May Bank Holiday Weekend 3rd, 4th, 5th May 2014

Retirement Of Nigel Johnson - Corporate Services Director & Company Secretary To CRT Board

First boat for Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust Fleet!

Excellence Afloat At Valley Cruises Is Moving Into Coventry Canal Basin

IWA Recognises Outstanding Contributions of its Members

C&RT Agrees New Contracts To Give Improved Services For Waterway Visitors

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust Shortlisted For The Lloyds Community Fund 2013.

Chester to Host IWA National Campaign Festival in 2014

Work On Staveley Town Lock Surges Ahead – Concrete Needed

Great British Bike Off Gears Up For Starting Line - 32 Sponsored Cyclists To Go On 300 Mile Journey For CRT

Volunteers Combat Vandalism On Dudley Canals - Volunteers Step In To Dudley Canals Graffiti Free

The Inland Waterways Association Statement on Canal & River Trust Visitor Moorings

Floating Market Comes To Birmingham - September 2013

Access For All At The Chesterfield Canal Festival

Waterway Museums and Attractions Celebrate Historic First Anniversary

Canal & River Trust Announces 2013/14 Winter Stoppages / Conservation and Repair Programme

Inland Waterways Association - North-West and North Wales Region - Award to Canal Restoration Leader (Montgomery Canal)

Canal & River Trust 2013 National Boat CheckCanal & River Trust 2013 National Boat Check - Licence evasion remains below 4%

Lottery Boost For Gloucester Waterways Museum



"M6 Of The Canal Network" Reopens After Repairs To Embankment That Was Washed Away By 24 Million Litres Of Water

Work To Repair An Historic Lock (CLOSURE) - Aylesbury Arm, Grand Union Canal

Canal Festival Needs More Boats - The Chesterfield Canal Festival will be held at Staveley Town Basin on 29th and 30th June.

Government Responds To Canal & River Trust's Call For Planning Protections For Waterways


Canal Volunteers Keep Brentford Museum Open - Grade II Listed Toll House at Brentford Lock

Do You Dig Canals? John Bercow Does!

Waterway Recovery Group WRG 2013 - Help Us Restore The Derelict Canals of England and Wales

Canal & River Trust Bank Staff Have Given A Resounding Vote In Favour Of New Flexible Working Hours

Leicester Riverside Festival - Saturday and Sunday June 1st & 2nd

Charity seeks Chairperson for Kennet & Avon Waterway Partnership

You are invited to view Chris Dann's photo album: Dutton Breach Repairs 23.02.13

Canal & River Trust Announces Partnership With River Canal Rescue

Canal and River Trust Partners M&S In Clean-up Of Britain's Canals

Canal and River Trust - Regent's Canal 'Locks' To The Future

NABO The Council Of The National Association Of Boat Owners - Have Co-opted Dr Mike Rodd To Join Its Council

Trent and Mersey Canal - Dutton Breach Progress - You Can Help Too! + UPDATE

Canal & River Trust National Users' Forum

POBoxes.com - Mail Handling For Boaters - Mail Forwarding For Boaters

Canal & River Trust chief executive to step down in May 2013

Dudley Canal TrustDudley Canal Trust 2013 - Planners Give Consent For £3.3m Development Scheme

Lapa Canal Trust, December 2012 - Selly Oak Regeneration

The Canal & River Trust and The Residential Boat Owners' Association (RBOA) Signed A Memorandum Of Understanding

Colliers International - Bristol Waterfront Development Demands Major Revamp Of New Cut

Chesterfield Canal Trust - Santa Special Cruises 2012

National Bargee Travellers Association Court RulingC&RT v Leading Figure Of National Bargee Travellers Association - Court Ruling

“Holes In The Ground” Moving Closer For Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway (B&MK)

Award for Montgomery Waterway Montgomery Waterway Restoration TrustRestoration Trust Trustee

WRG Volunteers To Help Restore Bridges - The North Oxford Canal

Spitfires To Buzz Stoke Bruerne - Canal Village Steps Back In Time To The 40s

Lapal Canal TrustLapal Canal Trust - Walk The Line 2012 - Invitation To Ramble Saturday 22nd September at 12 noon

Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust (SNCT) - 2012 Work begins

Leeds & Liverpool Canal - Retracing the wool route from Liverpool to Saltaire

Results of the 2012 Race For Doggett's Coat and Badge - Friday 20th July 2012 at 11.30

John Redmond To Be The Master Of The Watermen's Company For 2012/2013 - We wish him all the best for the coming year

Waterways Should Play Bigger Part In UK’s Future Strategies

Chesterfield Canal Festival 2012 - A Great Success!

Canal & River Trust - New Cyclist's Towpath Guidelines

 

Fledgling National Charity C&RT - Three Major Corporations Pledge Support

Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust - SNCT Mark Membership Milestone!

Fund Raiser - The Restoration Of The Stafford Riverway Link - Stafford Boat Club Boat Gathering

Best Boats In Britain Sought To Showcase Olympic Park Waterways

British Waterways Statement - Nick Brown v British Waterways Board - May 2012

Waterways Renaissance Awards - 2012 Winners

ePrivacy Directive Compliance

14.08.14

This website aims to comply with the May 2012 ePrivacy Directive. All its sites that contain affiliate marketing or sponsored advertising fall into this category. However we do not collect any customer personal data.

ePRIVACY POLICY

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2.2 We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our websites. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and would like to know your options in relation to·not having this information used by these companies, contact the advertiser.

2.3 You can find additional information in Appendix A of the NAI Self-Regulatory principles for publishers (PDF). Please note that the NAI may change this sample language at any time.

 




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Nature Watch

Our own 'Naturewatch' goes on almost every day whilst cruising the navigable British inland waterways.

We will be, hopefully with your help, developing the Nature Watch section which is to be a comprehensive register of the many and varied flora and fauna around the British canal system. We will feature where to find, how to identify and the appreciation of all aspects of nature in and around the canals.

Over fifty five species of animals, birds and fish live either in, on or close by the waterways of the UK. Just about everyone is familiar with the ducks, geese, herons and swans but the joy of seeing a kingfisher, otter or water vole cannot be measured.

We are so lucky to be able to see so many live things as we move about the waterways.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI's)

Whixall Moss NNR / SSSI - Llangollen Canal - When we visited in early June (2007) we walked the trails and saw nesting Terns, Cuckoo, Buzzards, Kestrel, Bullfinches and many other more common birds.

Country Parks and Wildlife Reserves that abut navigable Rivers and Canals

Watermead Country Park

Wildflower Meadows

Birds - Native and migratory

Many of Britain's birds can be found either on or near the canal system. Nature Watch will describe and identify birds from the regal heron to the diminutive wren.

Great Crested Grebe - Podiceps cristatusGreat Crested Grebe - Podiceps cristatus - The adult Great Crested Grebe are really unmistakable, with their black crest with 'horns' and ruddy cheeks in summer

Kingfishers - Alcedo atthis in the Family of Kingfishers (Alcedinidae) - Alcedo atthis, is The Common Kingfisher, also known as Eurasian Kingfisher or River Kingfisher

Little Grebe (or Dabchick) - Tachybaptus ruficollis - This small water bird reaches a size between 23 to 29 cm in length. A member of the grebe family of water birds.

The Mandarin Duck - Aix galericulata, or just Mandarin, is a medium-sized perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. The Mandarin Duck is between 41 and 49 cm long with a 65 to 75 cm wingspan.

The Pochard or Common Pochard (Latin name: Aythya ferina) is a medium-sized but stocky diving duck smaller than a mallard, with a red eye, brownish neck and headThe Pochard or Common Pochard (Latin name: Aythya ferina) is a medium-sized but stocky diving duck smaller than a mallard, with a red eye, brownish neck and head in the same family as swans, ducks and geese.

Fishes and Molluscs - Native and introduced

These wonderful creatures are fighting pollution at every turn and many are rarely seen. Nature watch will be introducing you to some surprising creatures, generally unseen just a few feet away from the towpath.

Zander - also known as the pikeperch is now an established UK freshwater fish species.

Amphibians - Native and discarded exotic pets

Frogs, Newts and Toads. Some a lot bigger than the common frog!

Animals

Native wild, captive bred escapees and domesticated stock. From otters to wild boar. Nature Watch will tell you where to find them found around the system.

Ferns and Grasses

The amazing variety that survive in the weirdest of places.

Insects and invertebrates - Water borne and terrestrial. From water spiders to dragon flies. Our waterways and their environs are a haven for thousands of species of insects - We hope to show you some of the weird and wonderful:

Stag Beetle - Lucanus cervus - This creature looks like it belongs in ancient Egypt not within a stones throw of Uxbridge!

Grizzled Skipper Butterfly - Pyrgus-malvae

Plants and Herbs

There are hundreds of species around the canals. Nature watch will help you identify many of them.

The Snake’s Head Fritillary, a bulbous plant in the family Liliaceae to be found at Wheaton Aston on the Shropshire Union Canal

Reptiles

This is one area of nature where the UK has a definite shortfall. With just a hand full of snakes and lizards to our name. Hopefully we will be able to photograph and report back on these illusive critters.

European Grass Snake

Trees and Shrubs

Black Poplar Tree - Radford Meadows - Staffs and Worcs Canal

The wealth of standing timber across the country.

We will be, hopefully with your help, developing the Nature Watch section. A comprehensive register of the many and varied flora and fauna around the British canal system. Where to find, how to identify and the appreciation of all aspects of nature in and around the canals. We are so lucky to be able to see so many live things as we move about the waterways. We are looking forward to accepting your naturewatching photographs and information.

We are looking forward to accepting your naturewatching photographs and information. Please do not hesitate to contribute.


Which type of Holiday are you looking for?

  • A narrowboat holiday on one of Britain's Canals?
  • A boating holiday on a river, lake or sea?
  • A foreign canal or boating break?
  • A waterside Bed & Breakfasst?
  • A canalside Rented property?

Buying and Selling a Boat

Whether you are buying a boat or selling a boat here are some readers tips to help you get the best deal.

Buying a second hand boat

Decide what kind of boat you actually need to suit your requirements. See Boat Descriptions. 1. Check the boat has a current Boat Safety Certificate. 2. Make sure you have a professional boat survey and valuation carried out on the prospective purchase. 3. Take a trip out for an hour or so on the boat if you can.

Buying a new narrowboat

The chances are, if you want a new boat, you will have to have a boat built as there are very few off the peg boats available.
1. Make a list of what you want in your ideal boat.
2. Walk the canal tow path for a few weeks with a notebook. Ask owners what they would do different if they were buying another boat.
3. Visit as many Waterways expos as possible in the year before ordering your boat.
4. Choose your Boat Builder on recommendation from a boat you like the look of actually on the water. Ask the owner what it was like for them. For example: Would they be happy to go back a second time to the same boat builder? We would not recommend our boat builder.
5. Once you have chosen a builder and found out what the lead time is for a new boat add six months to the date they give - It is endemic in the industry for some boat builders to give a favourable delivery date to obtain the order - when the deposit has been paid, then the excuses start as to why that date cannot be met!

Buying a new cruiser

Cruisers are pretty much off the peg with only a few choices of layout available. Be absolutely sure that that boat you are ordering will suit your needs. Size isn't everything.

Selling a boat


1. Clean your boat from stem to stern inside and out - Get rid of all that clutter!
2. Do all the repairs and touch up the paintwork and varnish.
3. Obtain a new Boat Safety Certificate.
4. Know the market value for the age, size and condition of your boat - if necessary get a valuation.

We would be pleased hear about your experiences on buy and/or selling a boat. Information received may be printed, subject to editorial review.

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