Hollinwood Canal Society News

Friday 5 November 2010

Level Survey for Daisy Nook Canals

Modern technology has come to the aid of the Hollinwood Canal Society to check out the levels of the 213-year-old canal in Daisy Nook Country Park.

The GPS (Global Positioning System) satellite network was used to measure the exact heights above sea level of the canal between Crime Lake and Bardsley Bridge in Daisy Nook Country Park.

The Society is most grateful to N. D. Oliver and Co. Ltd., Chartered Land Surveyors, of Sale, who carried out the survey, and to the Business in the Community scheme, which enables businesses to benefit society by assisting community groups and charities.

Gina Hine, who is the North West Community Impact Manager for BITC, put the Society in touch with N. D. Oliver and Co. and arranged a site meeting at Daisy Nook. The survey was completed on 21st September.

N.D. Oliver and Co. gave their services free of charge and the Society only had to pay for the Ordnance Survey mapping used for the presentation of the results. This is a considerable help to a young Society that lacks huge financial resources.

The survey is a first step towards more detailed investigations exploring the plan to re-open the mile long stretch of water between Crime Lake and Bardsley Bridge, which includes part of the main Hollinwood Branch and much of the Fairbottom Branch.

In the past there has been mining subsidence in the area so it is necessary to find out whether this will be an issue. Other matters that will need to be investigated are ways to prevent leaks at Valley Aqueduct and on the embankment near Valley Farm, which had been a problem in the past.

The plan was first put forward in 2006 in a bid made jointly by the Society and Oldham Council for funding from IWA’s Jubilee Grant. The scheme was one of 9 chemes
short-listed out of 34 bids.

The work would have included removing the infill above Valley Aqueduct and carrying out repairs to that Aqueduct and the one over Crime Lane. The scheme would also have involved dredging as well as vegetation clearance, towpath improvements and a slipway. It would also have enabled a trip boat to be put onto the canal.

The short timescale in 2006 meant that a level survey could not be carried out at that time.

The Society’s Ed Mortimer said back in 2006, "While we are disappointed not to be awarded this grant, we are pleased with the enthusiasm shown for this scheme and the positive feedback received. As a new society, we did well for our bid to reach the shortlist. Putting the bid forward has helped to raise the profile of the restoration potential of this canal. Preparing the bid was a useful exercise involving the canal society working closely with Oldham Council."

The current economic climate makes it less likely that funding will be available for such projects in the immediate future but the level survey is a step towards being ready to make future bids.

In the mean time, working parties involving the Waterway Recovery Group North West are continuing to improve the condition of the Fairbottom Branch by removing trees growing in the canal bed as well as those damaging the wash wall and edging stones.

You can find more information about Business in the Community at www.bitc.org.uk and about N. D. Oliver and Co. at www.ndoliver.com

Friday 8 October 2010

Events: October Working Party

16th/17th October 2010: Working Party, Daisy Nook [info: 0161 355 5557]
If you have not been on a working party before, why not come along and join in? You will be made welcome! Big muscles are not essential as you can be given work to suit your capabilities! You can come along on just one day or on both days.

Meet at Daisy Nook Car Park, Stannybrook Road, at 9.30 am on either day. Strong footwear and waterproof clothing recommended. Light refreshments provided. Lunch available at minimal cost.

Please phone our Working Party Organiser, Mike, on 0161 355 5557 for more information. space

Thursday 19 August 2010

Canal Heritage Day

Good weather at the weekend helped to ensure a successful Canal Heritage Day for the Society.

Visitors came into the centre throughout the day to view the displays from the Hollinwood and Rochdale Canal Societies and Waterway Recover Group, to view the slideshow of old photos, take part in children's activities or talk to volunteers from the societies. 40 people took advantage of the guided walks around the canal features.

Plenty of positive comments were made, particularly from people who had known the area for years without knowing much about the canal.

[Photos: Ian Bradbury]

Friday 6 August 2010

Canal Heritage Day 2010

Take a step back in time next weekend and find out the fascinating story of the old canal that passed through Droylsden, Littlemoss, Hollinwood and Daisy Nook Country Park and how this quiet backwater was once one of the area's busy transport routes!

A special Canal Heritage Day is taking place on Sunday 15th August at Daisy Nook Country Park, off Stannybrook Road between Ashton-under-Lyne and Failsworth.

There will be guided walks at 11.30 am and 2.00 pm during which you can learn about Daisy Nook, its Locks, Aqueducts and Tunnel, Crime Lake and other features. The walks are less than 2 miles in length and will start at the Visitor Centre.

Inside the Visitor Centre from 11.00 am to 3.30 pm there will be a continuous slide show of old photographs of the canal and displays from local canal groups. There will also be a range of canal-related activities for children.

The Canal Heritage Day is an annual event run by the Hollinwood Canal Society in conjunction with Oldham Countryside Service and aims to increase awareness of the canal that shaped the area that is now the Country Park.

Come along and find out about the rich Industrial and Transport Heritage that played a big part in our local history.

Monday 19 July 2010

Hollinwood Goes East

Members of the Hollinwood Canal Society took a trip across the Pennines this weekend to represent the Society at the Chesterfield Canal Festival held at Worksop.

Damp weather kept the numbers of visitors to the Festival lower than expected but there was a constant trickle of people taking an interest in our display and in our canal.

Saturday 17 July 2010

Annual Meeting

The members' Annual Meeting will take place on Wednesday 28th July.

The meeting will be in the conservatory at the Dog and Partridge, Oldham Road, Ashton under Lyne at 7.30 pm. Postcode for Satnav is OL7 9PT.

The meeting will be followed by the opportunity to have a meal and/or a drink and chat with fellow members. Orders for meals will be taken before the meeting begins.

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Noah’s Ark moors up at Daisy Nook!

As part of Oldham Countryside Service’s improvements  to Daisy Nook Country Park, a children’s play area has been constructed in the shape of a boat.

Constructed mostly of wood, the boat has already been nicknamed by a number of visitors as “Noah’s Ark”!

A wooden walkway crosses a pond-dipping area in front of the boat, with a wall representing a pair of lock gates.

Canal pedants have pointed out  that the “boat” represents a wide beamed vessel, rather than a narrow boat such as would have been seen on the Hollinwood Canal.

However, the Society is delighted that the design of this superb play area reflects the important role that boats played in the history of the Daisy Nook area.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Website Improved!

The Hollinwood Canal Society website has been re-launched today with a much improved layout and more content!

The site has been sorted into four main sections. One section contains information about the canal itself, one is about the Society and one is a Gallery section featuring a variety of photographs. The fourth section is the News section and appears here in the form of a blog, which means that you can write comments about items, should you wish!

More content will be added, including maps and aerial views.

The new site tries to conform with accessibility guidelines, making it easy to read, even for those with visual or other disabilities.

Why not make a comment to let us know what you think?

Don't forget to call back later to see what else has been added!

Thursday 25 February 2010

Events: March Working Party

20th/21st March 2010: Working Party, Daisy Nook [info: 0161 355 5557]
If you have not been on a working party before, why not come along and join in? You will be made welcome! Big muscles are not essential as you can be given work to suit your capabilities!

Meet at Daisy Nook Car Park, Stannybrook Road, at 9.30 am on either day. Strong footwear and waterproof clothing recommended. Light refreshments provided. Lunch available at minimal cost.

Please phone our Working Party Organiser, Mike, on 0161 355 5557 for more information. space

Friday 19 February 2010

Droylsden Marina in use!

The new Marina at the Droylsden end of the Hollinwood Canal is now in use and boats have started to moor there.

The management of the marina is being carried out by Portland Basin Marina and enquiries about moorings should be made to 0161 330 3133.

Construction of the homes and offices in the Droylsden Wharf scheme around the marina is currently on hold due to the recession, so there had been worries that the marina might sit disused for a while.

The floating mooring pontoons were put in place by development owners Watkin Jones. Guy Holding of Portland Basin Marina has installed power and water and made access to the pontoons secure.

Boats moored at the floating pontoons

The marina offers boaters electrical power metered to every boat, water supply on the pontoon and secure lock-in access. Elsan disposal is available nearby at Fairfield Junction. Gas bottles can be supplied.

Boats moored at the floating pontoons

The marina is close to frequent bus services, Droylsden Library, shops and a 24-hour Tesco.

Guy says that he has had a lot of enquiries and hopes to fill the pontoons before long.

Friday 29 January 2010

Vandals Attack Valley Aqueduct

Regular users of the Fairbottom Branch towpath that crosses Valley Aqueduct were dismayed to discover that vandals had attacked the stonework towards the end of November.

Nearly half of the heavy coping stones had been dislodged and pushed over and a large section of the centre of the parapet wall had been smashed, with the stones crashing down onto the road below.

Oldham Council acted promptly and put the stones into safe storage until the wall could be repaired. During December the council then sent a team to carry out the repairs.

The original damage to the parapet of Valley Aqueduct at the beginning of December.

Unbelievably, within a few days of the work being completed, most of the repaired section had been wrecked again, along with a lot more stones.

The area of damage extended further around the curve of the wall, and the parapet was demolished down to towpath level in places.

The second lot of damage. Part of the repair to the first attack can be seen where the new mortar is lighter than that of the surrounding stonework..

Daisy Nook Country Park rangers were very upset by this further damage, as the first repair had been costly. The fallen stones have once again been removed and the roadway under the aqueduct blocked off in case of loose stonework falling.

At the time of publication it is not known how soon the parapet can be repaired or whether it would be possible to reinforce the wall in some way.

It remains a mystery how so much damage could be done without attracting attention. The towpath across the aqueduct is in constant use during the daytime with walkers, cyclist, dog owners and horse riders. At night time it is a long dark walk from the nearest areas of housing. It also defies explanation why anyone would put so much effort into such mindless and pointless destruction of a historic structure.