Archive for May, 2010

We’ve recently confirmed the addition of an underground tour of Manchester as part of the festival programme. This tour is a chance to look at the Manchester and Salford Junction Canal – built in 1839 to link the River Irwell and the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal to the Rochdale Canal.

The canal was less than a mile long, with 4 locks and a tunnel below the Deansgate area. It was built to let boats get between the Irwell and the Rochdale Canal without having to pass through the Bridgewater Canal’s Hulme link, the tolls for which were high.

The canal was never a great success and closed in 1922. Part of it has been filled in but in the second World War the tunnel was used as an air-raid shelter. This tour gives visitors the chance to see this magnificent piece of Waterways history underneath the streets of Manchester.

The tour is in the evening on Tuesday 27th July and will begin at 7.30pm. More information will follow as soon as it becomes available!

Pictures by Nick Catford – taken from www.penninewaterways.co.uk


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To celebrate the end of the festival on 1st August 2010, competent runners are invited to run a stretch of the canal from lock 92 in Manchester city centre to the closing event at Summit. The run is approximately 20 miles, starting at 10am in Castlefield (exact location to be confirmed) the run will take you through Manchester City Centre taking in sites such as Canal Street, Bridgewater Hall and Deansgate Locks . From here the run will then follow the canal through Ancoats and Newton Heath and into Failsworth Basin. The canal then begins the rise to the highest point at Summit (near Walsden) taking in Chadderton, Rochdale centre, Castleton, Littleborough and entering the Calder Valley – a very scenic and a beautiful part of the canal and setting for the end of your morning run.

Participants are able to join the run at any point, a route map will be published nearer the time detailing landmarks, exit points and train stations. Although anyone can take part in the run, it is advised that those taking part are confident in their own ability as a runner and have a good level of fitness to complete the whole run or their chosen section of the route.

Littleborough train station is about a mile away from the Summit and a train back to the city centre can be caught from here for those not wishing to run all the way back!

For more information about the run or to register your interest in taking part please contact Lucy Rogers at lucy.rogers@thewaterwaystrust.org.uk or Sophie Williamson at sophie@rochdalecanalfestival.co.uk.

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Eleven young people from Fairbridge North Manchester have been working with The Waterways Trust, British Waterways and Rochdale Council on the Building Bridges project since November 2009. The young people have now created a special exhibition of artwork based on the heritage of the region’s canals.

To see the artwork head to the Littleborough Coach House. The exhibition is open to members of the public from Monday 19th April until Friday 4th June (Monday – Friday 1:30pm-4pm, Saturday 11am-4pm)

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