The Wet Web: August 2012
By: Web Editor
Helen Gazeley finds a rich source of information about historic vessels
THE Queen isn’t the only one celebrating this year and the unpowered narrowboat Ilkeston has been much in canal news with her 200-mile round-trip to London from Ellesmere Port to mark her centenary year after a complete restoration.
Receiving rather less attention have been the vessels towing her. They are all heritage boats and have included Radiant, built in 1935 for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company and requisitioned as a fireboat on the Regent’s Canal during the Second World War, and Roger, also recently restored, which carried until 1968 and is one of a handful of wooden canal boats still in working order.
Roger is run by Rickmansworth Waterways Trust. More information on the website (www.rwt.org.uk), not only about the boat, but the inspiring work providing educational programmes and running the Rickmansworth Festival. If you’re tempted to help out, opportunities for voluntary work are many and varied.
Details of heritage vessels can be found on the fascinating register kept by National Historic Ships UK (www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk), the government-funded, independent organisation which advises on historic ships in Britain. It is also setting up a new register of replica vessels, for the purposes of research, public interest, filming and charters. If you have a vessel that you think would qualify for either of the registers, you might like to apply for inclusion via the website.
One criterion that you can use to search the register is boats that appeared in the jubilee pageant. Ninety-seven boats listed with NHS UK took part. Those of us who were angry at the BBC’s puerile and, frankly, insulting coverage of this great event should spare a thought for Martyn Heighton, director of NHS UK. Having supplied the BBC with much information at its request and liaised with at least one ship owner on its behalf, the organisation saw none of this hard work put to use on the day. The letter sent by Mr Heighton to the BBC after the event, viewable on the website (under What We Can Do for You), gives a pithy summing up of his opinion and is a great read for anyone who thinks Auntie should hang her head in shame.
While the NHS UK Register covers larger vessels, the National Small Boat Register, run from the National Maritime Museum, Cornwall (www.nmmc.co.uk), is seeking to expand its register of boats worth preserving. This includes just about any boat 33ft long or less and 50 years old or more. It is also looking for pictures of vessels already on the register and for enthusiasts with a good knowledge of the boats in their local area.
Neither of the registers carries the details of nb Pipera Hearg, a narrowboat too young to be included. Over at Ships Nostalgia (www.shipsnostalgia.com), an online community for anyone around the world with an interest in ships and shipping, Georgina Frith has posted a request for information on this recently purchased boat, which may have been built by apprentices from the Swan Hunter shipyard in 1974.
If you can help, why not log on and let her know?
Do you have a favourite website? Email Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org
0 Responses to “The Wet Web: August 2012”
Please login or register to post a comment
Current Issue: June 2013
♦ Biggest ever edition
♦ Win Wi-Fi for your boat
♦ Mooring rules to change
♦ Olympian helps to open canal visitor centre
♦ Your M&S joins the clean-up
♦ Stillwater asks the questions that you want answers to
♦ 380 boats for sale
• Next issue on sale: June 27, 2013