Monday, November 08, 2010

thames barrier

thames barrier
Originally uploaded by AndyRob
This is one of my favourite pictures of the Thames barrier, taken whilst going through on the 3rd of May in 2005, five years ago.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Forth Road Bridge Scotland

Forth Road Bridge Scotland
Originally uploaded by AndyRob
Road bridge over the Firth of Forth, Scotland. The rail bridge is of course much more impressive, but the road bridge is quite difficult to photograph so I was pleased with this one.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

British Waterways Hive Off Affects Canal Boat Holidays

Well this is the press release from British Waterways, but what are the longer term implications for canal boat holidays?

British Waterways welcomes the UK Government’s announcement today (14/10/10) of its intention to transfer British Waterways’ inland waterways in England and Wales into a new charitable body. The move, promoted by British Waterways for the last 18 months, will be the biggest shake up of the waterways since nationalisation in 1948. It will attract new investment, secure jobs and give the public greater involvement in the running of canals and rivers.

The announcement by the Cabinet Office that British Waterways will be replaced with a new civil society body builds on recommendations by British Waterways for the establishment of a ‘national trust’ for the waterways, as waterway minister, Richard Benyon MP, explains:

Waterways Minister, Richard Benyon said, "Our waterways are a cherished feature of the British landscape and a source of joy to many. Transferring British Waterways from Government to a charitable body will give users of the waterways a greater say in their future management and help to ensure they remain a wonderful part of our natural and cultural heritage of value to society and the economy. 

"This change reflects the confidence we have that the engagement of local communities and interest groups will ensure the success of this transfer to civil society, building on the good work of British Waterways and countless waterways enthusiasts. It’s a great example of Government giving power back to the people."

BW have been promoting a move to charitable status for more than a year saying that it will attract new investment, secure jobs and give greater involvement in the running of canals and rivers to the public.

BW chairman, Tony Hales,  welcomed the announcement saying, "This is excellent news and something we have been urging all political parties to support since last year". 

The Government intends to have the new body up and running by April 2012 but no decision has been made yet about including the Environment Agency navigations  or the Scottish canals in the new body.

So the government has announced a BW move to charity status by 2012. The Cabinet Office announced today that British Waterways will  be replaced with a new civil society — as recommended by BW — to become in effect a 'national trust' for the waterways.

BW cares for 2,200 miles of historic canals, rivers and docks in England, Scotland and Wales. It funds its work through a combination of commercial income from property and licences, Government and third party grants, and partnerships with a broad range of public, private and voluntary sector partners.

Since May 2009, BW has been calling for the creation of a new ‘national trust’ for the waterways as a way of encouraging greater public engagement and creating new funding opportunities.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New 500-berth marina plan should bring extra canal boat holdays to South Yorkshire

If the plan goes through tomorrow, as is reported likely, then this should eventually bring more canal boat holidays to South Yorkshire.
PLANS for a 500-berth marina on a canal in South Yorkshire are set to win approval from planners tomorrow after changes were made to the scheme to make it more wildlife-friendly.
Developers Waystone Ltd submitted plans to Doncaster Council several months ago for a marina project on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal at Stainforth, north-east of the town centre.

But those plans were withdrawn after groups including Natural England spoke of their concern over the effect of the massive building project on wildlife on the rural site and in marine habitats. If Doncaster Council's planning committee gives outline approval to the scheme at a meeting at the Mansion House tomorrow, further work will be carried out on the ambitious scheme.

Blueprints submitted to the authority show a marina with four newly-dug basins, which would provide pontoons with room for 500 pleasure boats, as well as a pub and restaurants, a visitor centre and shop units.

I'm not sure if part of the marina will be used by hire boat companies but just having 500 berths in one place is sure to create a focal point for canal boating in general and that includes holidays too.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Ratho 'canal village' Edinburgh canal boat marina

THE first images were today unveiled showing how the Ratho area will be transformed into a thriving "canal village".

SPECTACULAR: An artist's impression of how the marina at the Mooring development will appear when completed

One day we will be having canal boat holidays in Edinburgh?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Narrowboat For Sale Pix - Illustrate Canal Boating Holidays

These high quality pictures of a private narrowboat for sale show exactly how the interior is laid out and give a very good impression of what to expect from canal boating holidays in an English narrowboat. Many live aboard boats are quite different, but this one really is just like a hire boat.
Northern Pride
For Sale

Built in 1989
45 ft Traditional style narrowboat
2+2 berth (fixed double and convertable dinnette)
Shower and macerator pump-out toilet
35hp Barrus diesel engine (5 yrs old and 1150 hrs)
Webasto central heating (3 radiators)
1800W 240V power inverter (new July 09)
3 domestic & 1 starter battery
Gas cooker and microwave
Bottom blacked June 09
BSC to July 2013
Anchor and life jackets
BW canal and river license to end January 2011

Includes all crockery, cutlery, pans, etc

"Hop aboard and cruise away"

TEL: 07544893274
Boat available from the end of October 2010


This is quite tempting really, the sort pf boat that gets hired out for narrowboat canal holidays, but in this case for sale after having been used by a couple for six months. The boat looks immaculate , but was in fact built in 1989 so it's 21 years old and they do tend to depreciate with age, so at less than full length for just under £30,000 maybe a bargain, or it may be just a bit steep. Not sure about this one.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Cnalside cottage for sale

Historic Kennet & Avon Canal lock cottage for sale

Cobblers Lock Cottage on the left — 
viewed from Hungerford Marsh Lock.
British Waterways is selling 
Cobblers Lock House 
near Hungerford by auction.

The cottage is alongside Cobblers lock on the K&A Canal and on the edge of Hungerford Marsh Nature Reserve.

No details of house are available at the moment —  but auctioneers, Savills, say that full details will be posted on their website on Friday 8th October and the auction takes place on 28th October. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Union Canal boating holidays?

Somethimg to look into here, the possibility of Scottish canal boating holidays.

Latest news for Monday 27 September

Flotilla will celebrate Union Canalwaterway’s 10th year

A stunning array of more than 60 modern and historic craft will journey along the Union Canal from Edinburgh Quay to the Falkirk Wheel this weekend in celebration of the 10th anniversary of its reopening. Vessels in the flotilla named Union 10 – brought together by a raft of canal societies, charities and social enterprises – will include traditional narrowboats, former fishing boats and old Edwardian steam launches. The Ratho Princess – built in 1923 – will be the oldest in the flotilla fleet making the trip along the 32-mile, 200-year-old waterway. ... click for full story

Will blog later about canal boating holidays in Scotland

Friday, September 24, 2010

Winter Opening information for winter canal boating holidyas

Winter canal boating holidays

K&A Canal: Gibson's Boat Services - Winter Opening

Gibson's Boat Services at Builder's Wharf Honeystreet
Picture by Bob Naylor

Winter opening at Gibson's Boat Services at Honeystreet on the Kennet & Avon Canal come into effect from October 1st.

They will be open Thursday to Monday from 10am to dusk or 6pm (whichever is earlier).

They will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays — except for emergencies or by prior arrangements.
All of their usual services will be available: Diesel, gas, pumpout & toilet fluids, water, & stove fuels.

You may not need these specific boat services for winter canal boating holidays but it's useful to know what's opening when planning canal boat holidays for October through to March. The water take on service for example is vital, and you ight just need an unplanned pump out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vote For Our Rivers

Ralph Underhill, Our Rivers campaigner, said: “This is the first time people have had a chance to vote for the river which is closest to their heart.

So now people are being asked to go to the Our Rivers website and vote for the best river and worst river in England and Wales.

Visit to cast your vote before October 31

Why not vote for the river that is the best managed for canal boat holidays? The Thames, Ouse, River Avon, River Calder, Great Ouse, Medway Stour, Trent, etc ?

Best River, Worst River - Vote now!

The Our Rivers campaign is asking people in England and Wales to vote for the best and worst rivers.

The Our Rivers campaign was set up by a group of NGOs - WWF, RSPB, and the Angling Trust in 2009 when the Environment Agency published draft River Basin Management Plans that set out the future of river management up to 2015 and beyond.

Our Rivers felt the plans didn't go far enough and were unnecessarily bureaucratic. They felt that crowdsourcing knowledge from the population upwards would be much better.

After the official process the Our Rivers campaign re-launched with the Salmon and Trout Association onboard as well.

Now they are seeking wider involvement with Philippa Forrester heading a publicity initiative while she is currently a TV series - Halcyon River Diaries on BBC1.

Philippa Forrester said: “Living close to a river, I get to see an amazing array of life from the emergence of mayflies in spring to the darting flash of a hunting kingfisher and the secretive habits of the water vole.”

The Our Rivers campaign was launched last year to fight for clean and healthy rivers shortly before a Government report revealed 74 per cent were failing to meet EU environmental targets.

Ralph Underhill, Our Rivers campaigner, said: “This is the first time people have had a chance to vote for the river which is closest to their heart.

So now people are being asked to go to the Our Rivers website and vote for the best river and worst river in England and Wales.

Visit to cast your vote before October 31

Sunday, September 19, 2010

KAcanalTIMES: K&A Canal restricted lock operations between Great Bedwyn and Little Bedwyn

Sunday 19 September 2010 — until further notice
Little Bedwyn Lock (67)
Because of very low water levels in the area locks 64 to 67 will only be open between 9am and 4.30pm. 

Boaters are asked to share locks to save water whenever possible.

The locks affected are Church Lock 64 at Great Bedwyn, Burnt Mill 65, Potters 66 and Little Bedwyn 67.

For more information call: 01380 722859

Probably best to aim to get through the locks before 4.00pm really. I wonder how long the low water levels will last, but at least it's after the main canal boating holiday season.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Leeds and Liverpool Canal to re-open in two stages

Great news for autumn canal boat holidays

Leeds and Liverpool Canal to re-open in two stages: "British Waterways has announced that the closed section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is to re-open in two stages, after the latest review of the reservoir levels.

The 40 mile section between Wigan and Barrowford will re-open on Friday 17th September. The remaining 20 miles from Barrowford to Gargrave will re-open on Wednesday 22nd September.

British Waterways staff are removing stop planks"

Leeds & Liverpool Canal to reopen for Canal Boating Holidays

Latest news for Wednesday 15 September

Leeds & Liverpool Canal to reopen

British Waterways is today pleased to announce the phased reopening of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal beginning this Friday 17 September, with reservoir levels in North West at a sufficient enough level to get boat traffic moving again. The stretch below Lock 51 at Barrowford to Lock 85 in Wigan will reopen on Friday, allowing boaters to travel between Barrowford and Liverpool. The remaining 20-mile section between Lock 51 at Barrowford and Lock 31 in Gargrave will reopen the following week on Wednesday 22 September. ... click for full story

Good news for autumn canal boating holidays on the Leeds and Liverpool at last, and well done to all the live aboarders who survived being stranded.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oxford Canal Easier for Canal Boating Holidays

These new improvements to the Oxford canal bridges wil make it less daunting for beginners on canal boating holidays

Latest news for Tuesday 14 September

Single boaters given a hand on the Oxford Canal

British Waterways (BW) has completed a £40k bridge improvement project on the Oxford Canal. The project, to fully automate a lift bridge located near the canal side village of Thrupp, was carried out to ensure that single boaters can safely and easily operate this Grade II listed structure. Lift bridges are a well known feature along the Oxford Canal and today representatives from BW and the Inland Waterways Association will official open the newly controlled bridge known as Aubrey Lift Bridge (bridge number 221) which is the first bridge on this stretch of waterway to be electrically automated.... click for full story

There are quite a few lift bridges along the Oxford canal and also sadly some locations where these bridges have been demolished.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Restorations good for Canal Boating Holidays

Soon the Droitwuich canal in Worcestershire will be open for navigation providing new possibilities for canal boating holidays.

Yesterday saw a boat enter the 250-year-old barge canal for the first time in 80 years. It was a symbolic act that meant the £12 million restoration of the canal in Droitwich is close to completion.

Droitwich was just one of many abandoned waterways.

The growth of the leisure industry has sparked a renewed interest in canals as increasing numbers of people opt for narrowboat holidays. The result has been restoration projects across the country with many miles of canals navigable again.

While some old canals like the Leeds and Liverpool are creaking and groaning with leaks and lack of resources for maintenance, in other parts of the country new canals are being restored, or rather old ones, so the choices will always be there for canal boat holidays on the UK inland waterways

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Canal Boating Holidays thwarted by drought

Linda listened to this programme on Radio 4 and found it shocking. Some of the live aboarders are stuck up on the moors for weeks because they didn't listen properly to the low water level warnings. The man from British Waterways said that the canal is 200 years old and has always had problems with water shortages in the summer. The boat hire companies who do canal boating holidays have had a bad year too.
BBC Radio 4's "Open Country" programme was devoted to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal this week.

In particular the programme dealt with some of the issues around the closure of the 60-mile stretch between Wigan and Gargrave.

Presenter Helen Marks spoke to boaters who live aboard boats on the canal. She spoke with BW's Vince Moran about the reason for the recent closure of almost half of the canal. Mike Clarke of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society tells Helen about the canal's history and about his involvement with the Short Boat Kennet, one of the last unconverted boats which worked on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

The programme can be listened to on-line for the next few days by following this link.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

River Dart: Totnes

River Dart: Totnes
Originally uploaded by edmittance
Totnes, Devon, on the river Dart.

The River Dart is a river in Devon, England which rises high on Dartmoor, and releases to the sea at Dartmouth. Its valley and surrounding area is a place of great natural beauty.

Totnes (pronounced /ˈtɒtnɨs/ or /tɒtˈnɛs/) is a market town and civil parish at the head of the estuary of the River Dart in Devon, England within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is about 22 miles (35 km) south of the city of Exeter and is the administrative centre of the South Hams District Council.

Totnes has a long recorded history, dating back to 907 AD when its first castle was built; it was already an important market town by the 12th century. Indications of its former wealth and importance are given by the number of merchants' houses built in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Today, the town, with its population of 7,444,[1] is a thriving centre for music, art, theatre and natural health. It has a sizeable alternative and "New Age" community, and is known as a place where one can live a bohemian lifestyle.

Monday, April 26, 2010

No mooring

No mooring
Originally uploaded by MisterPeter!
No mooring

St Pancras Basin

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Last Nail - Andy Roberts boatbuilding folk song

The Last Nail by Andy Roberts

Recorded live at Havering Folk Club

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Barging Through London (1924)

A record of the Regent's Canal in London made first in 1924 includes scenes of the London, Tilbury and Southend railway passing over the canal; Kings Cross station; St Pancras station; and the canal being crossed by the railway outside Euston and St Pancras stations.

This is a really interesting movie and is a fantastic look into our near history should be shown in schools to what an easy life the kids have today.

There are some good shots in this film. Not only does it show the ride up the Regent's Canal in 1924, it shows some of the communities on the way....including Stepney Green Underground station, Mile End (trams and all), Gardiner's Corner (Aldgate East), Hackney, etc.