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Pennine Waterways
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Pennine Waterways
Ashton Canal
Hollinwood Branch Canal - what next? (4)
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Beyond Crime Lake, and the infilled canal at Bank Bridge, the route enters an overgrown cutting. This cutting is now itself crossed by the M60, also in a cutting.
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From here to the Roxy Cinema at Hollinwood the line of the canal is mostly difficult to follow, though there are remains to be spotted if you look carefully.
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The Hollinwood Branch is crossed by the M60 motorway (again!) and then there were originally four more locks to Hollinwood Wharf.
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A new link to the Rochdale could leave the Hollinwood Branch before the final four locks, to follow a similar line to the proposed route of 1791.
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Infilled canal beyond Banks Bridge, Woodhouses. Photo: Bob Gough
Infilled canal beyond Banks Bridge, Woodhouses. Photo: Bob Gough.
I do not know how this link could now be built, but the actual distance is not very great (about 800 metres). There is no easy route on foot either, but looking across the A62 from behind the Roxy Cinema, I could orientate on some prominent stacks of blue pallets on land acquired by Manchester Cabins.
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Following the road under the railway line and then left by the transporter car park for the Mirror Group printing works, I could see the pallets again, on the horizon, from a vantage point on extensive waste ground adjacent to the car park.
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I scrambled on through the trees, and there it was, the Rochdale Canal!
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Journey's end - the Rochdale Canal. Photo: Bob Gough
Journey's end - the Rochdale Canal. Photo: Bob Gough.
A Link Too Far?
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Too far fetched - a link from the Huddersfield Narrow / Ashton to the Rochdale Canal? Is there a danger of thinking that every disused canal must be restored? Or should we be looking now into the huge potential benefits that a route back to Hollinwood and the Rochdale could bring?
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All those years ago I did not believe that Stalybridge would ever have a canal again, or that it could cause such a positive transformation. I was proved wrong.
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Would anyone else like to look at going to Hollinwood? If so, please contact me on 0161 303 7635, write to me at 68 Knowl Street, Stalybridge, SK15 3AJ, or email via this website.
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Ed Mortimer
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Map: Bob Gough
Much of the route of the canal can be explored on foot. It can easily be followed on Ordnance Survey maps or the Manchester A-Z.
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Click here to see online OS map.
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The area around Waterhouses Junction in Daisy Nook is especially worth visiting. Some parts of the canal in Droylsden and Hollinwood are not accessible.