Old Canal Routes History

Peter Hardcastle and CanalRoutes.org

Bellow is a short history about the initial Canal Routes project back in time owned and maintained by Pter Castle.


Peter Hardcastle, the author of the original Canals Roots & Routes website is in no way connected with the current CanalRoutes.net but has given full permission for his original text and format to be re-used by CanalRoutes.net

Peter Hardcastle" October 2003
Following numerous emails pleading with me to re-upload the web site, Canals & Waterways: Roots & Routes returns to the web. It now has a new look and a new web address: canalroutes.org (the old address was: canals.btinternet.co.uk

March 2002
Well, it's been a whole year since I updated this page. Basically there is nothing to add! Over 12 months I have continued to update pages, add a few pages and even remove a few pages.

March 2001
Joined the UKCanals Web Ring.

Redesigned the front page and added two new links - Chronology and Engineers.

Completed first 2 parts of World Canal Chronology (sequential history) covering the time between 4000bc and 1789!

September 2000
After several months of waiting, BT Internet have finally "resolved several virtual domain name issues"(!). What this means to you and I is we can now access Roots & Routes via an alternative (and much easier to remember) link of canals.btinternet.co.uk
though note that the old URL at btinternet.com/~canals/index.htm will also still work and the even older URL of canalroutes.org.uk is also still alive. All these links lead to the same home page.

July 2000
Roots & Routes has now moved again. The previous address of canalroutes.org.uk can still be used to access the home page but all subsequent pages are now located and maintained at btinternet.com/~canals/index.htm. I would like to apologies for this inconvenience - please update your Bookmarks.

May 2000
The whole R&R site has now moved to a new server and has its own domain name - canalroutes.org.uk

I have decided to stop using the fancy (tabbed) Alpha and Area Index menus which were displayed when browsing with IE5. Although the menus looked excellent and were very well designed (by Bruce Peckett) they are not working as they should for everybody. Some people (me included) found that IE5 refuses to update some sub-menus if there is an older version of the same menu already in the IE5 cache. So, IE5 users now see the same (non-DHTML) menus as everybody else.

At the same time I have cut down the number of sub-menus in the Alpha index. For example, letter "S" was divided into three sub-menus, now there is only one for each letter. Similarly, I have trimmed down the number of sub-menus in the Area Index. Too many people have emailed me saying they cannot find a particular waterway, this is often because they did not realize there were more menus beneath the "top" one - now it should be a lot easier to find what you are looking for. Regular readers will notice some of the Area names have now changed; Thames has gone and has been replaced by GUC (Grand Union Canal Network) while South Wales is now Wales! Severn Valley is now Severn Valley & Western England (basically covering all English counties which share a border with Wales).

Updates and newly written pages are constantly being added. If the waterway you are interested in is not yet covered, please call back soon.

Aha. At last I've found a VERY easy way to look up grid refs. Using InfoMap 7 (Cd-Rom from Directions) I can click on any location and get an instant grid ref. Wonderful :-( Now I have no excuse for not including them. So... Started to include OS Grid Refs within the Route Descriptions and Access Points rather than just at the start and end point of each waterway. Give me another 300 years and I'll have done them all!

While still working on updates and adding grid refs (see below) I am now adding Access Points at the bottom of each route page. This is done only at access points I have visited myself which, while not being a complete list, ensures that the access point does really exist (at the time of my visit at least)!! This is an ongoing job so you may find pages without access points

January 2000
Updated many files. Began to add OS Grid Refs to some files - a long job which will take some time to complete (yawn) but a number of people have asked for them so... (do I sound reluctant?!!). I am only including the refs for the start and end of each waterway to help readers pinpoint the route on a map. Of course road numbers are still included throughout the route descriptions so normal people with normal maps will have no worries :-)

Fixed a number of broken links (caused when the site was moved). Added new links on both of the index pages. Spotted a couple of canal files which are online but had no links at all! New backgrounds added - well, you always redecorate when you move into a new home don't you? Moved Credits off front page onto Site Guide page and moved this page (Site History) onto front page. Now to update all the canal files :-(

June '99
UK Waterways Network web ring panels added

April '99
Roots & Routes moved from blacksheep.org to canals.org.uk

December '98
Canals: Roots & Routes is included in the BBC Education web site.

November '98
Canals: Roots & Routes voted BEST PERSONAL CANAL SITE 1998 by Canal & Riverboat Magazine

The Alpha index has now been remodeled and revised to match the Area index!

Totally revised Area Index

April '98
Phase 1 of Roots & Routes uploaded and site announced on the Internet canal community

Bug repoerts soon rceived... and fixed!

Many new files covering many more waterways added to the site.

Feb/Mar '98
All my canal writing was converted into web pages by Bruce Peckett. For the record - first page to appear was the River Ant, approx. 79 more files, covering over 110 different waterways joined it within 14 days.

October '97
I joined the internet. By now I had written over 100 canal files (still only for my use)

Autumn '94
I began to write about canals, listing their history and routes for my own use "

Peter Hardcastle

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