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Manchester and Stockport Canal Society

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Extract from The Inland Waterways Association  Head Office Bulletin – December 2003

Ashton Canal - Stockport Branch

A letter in the Stockport Times, which explained how the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal has a society to promote its restoration, and the progress being made, has led to calls for the Stockport Branch of the Ashton canal to be restored.

Following expressions of interest from local people, an informal meeting was held in December, at which David Sumner, former chairman of Huddersfield Canal Society spoke, and those present decided to form a society. An inaugural meeting of the new society is due to be held on Tuesday 3rd February at 7:30pm at Stockport Town Hall.

Ashton Canal - Stockport Branch

Inaugural meeting. 3rd February 2004

Well they’re off and what a meeting. The inaugural meeting originally booked to take place in meeting room 106 was so well attended that Peter Scott was forced to move the venue to the Council Chamber.

Attended by 50 - 60 people including many well known personalities on the Northwest  canal scene, the meeting was a complete success.

Officers were appointed to lead the society  which provisionally will be called the Manchester & Stockport Canal Society. This name is intended to reflect the local interests along the canal line and not just the society base.

An official web site will follow as soon as possible,  the address of which will be given on this site when available.

This embryonic society needs your help and support to survive so why not make a difference by becoming a member. An application form will be available on this site shortly but in the meantime why not e-mail me and I will send you details of how to join.

Thanks to an opportune offer from Sheffield Hallam University to undertake a feasibility study regarding the restoration of the Stockport Arm, this is now underway and it is hoped to have it available for the next society meeting

Canal walk - Clayton to Stockport. 20th March 2004

The canal walk has now taken place and was a complete success.

Starting out from the Navigation Pub after receiving best wishes from the Mayor of Stockport, we boarded our coach for Clayton where we were met by local councillor Neil Swanwick who walked with us to his constituency border. For most this was a walk of exploration, learning of the existence and line of the canal as well as appreciating some of the structures that are required for a functional canal.

Despite inclement weather we made good time back to our final destination, the Navigation pub where the landlady kindly laid on sandwiches for us.

Although some of the canal line is built on at the Stockport end, most people where surprised by how much of the original line is still in existence and were enthusiastic that it was more than possible to recover it.

Local people start to discuss the return of the canal.

Recent newspaper articles have prompted local people in East Manchester to use their web forum to discuss the return of the Stockport Arm of the Ashton Canal.

This web site can be found by clicking on the link below.

To follow the discussion :

Click on discussion in the top text menu.

Click on take me to forums

Go down to Local Issues under Forum and click on it.

Select topics relevant to the canal.

Our society gets a mention on Jim Sheads ‘Clicking on canals page’ in the May issue of Waterways World

Stockport Environment Fair Live02

Stockport Environment Fair, Saturday 2nd October

Our first time out with our new display boards at the Stockport Environmental Fair went very well. The fair was well attended with a good cross section of local people some of whom were aware of the canal (mainly the older generation) and others who were quite impressed that Stockport once hosted a canal and were interested in its history and what the future held.

Peter and Gwen Scott are seen here explaining our societies aims to visitors.

We had a very good response to the stand and enlisted one new paid up member with promises of more memberships by post.

Members meeting Tuesday 5th October 2004

The meeting held at Manchester Town Hall, was well attended with two presentations given by Richard Sym on behalf of Broadstone Mill Ltd followed  by Manchester Councilor Neil Swannick and Rachel Christie Head of Environmental Services.

Richard Sym showed sketches and outlined his companies proposals for a canal basin in front of the mill with leisure facilities , shopping and an art gallery  in the building as attractions to encourage boaters to moor up and visit Reddish.

Councilor Neil Swannick and Rachel Christie outlined Manchester City Councils waterways strategy launched earlier this year. Manchester Council is working with the Mersey Basin campaign, the Environment Agency British Waterways and other bodies with six common objectives:-

  • Access
  • Regeneration
  • Quality of design
  • Bio diversity
  • Reduction of the fear of crime
  • Community involvement

Member also had their first chance to see the society display stand which over the coming months will be on display at various locations around the Manchester/Stockport area. A list of locations and dates will be published on this site when known. Display stand

Stockport Heritage Magazine

The publishers of the Stockport Heritage Magazine have kindly included in the Winter 04/05 Vol 5 No 11 issue an article on the Stockport Canal.

Stockport Heritage Mag cover

Stockport Heritage Library   01/12/2004

Thanks to Mr David Reid of Stockport Heritage Library for permission to put the society display stand in the library. The stand is now in the library and will be on display for the whole of December. It is hoped that it will help to generate interest in the canal. Membership forms in the form of the society information leaflet are available at the stand.

Stockport Library 01122004 1

Gorton Library 04/01/2005

The society display stand has been moved to Gorton Library where it will stay until the end of January 2005.

Reddish Library  31/01/2005

The society display stand has been moved to Reddish Library where it will stay until the end of February 2005

Clayton Library  01/03/2005

The society display stand has been moved to Clayton Library where it will stay until the end of March 2005

Bugsworth Basin 25/03/2005

The reopening of Bugsworth Basin on the Peak Forest Canal is a major event on the local canal network and a first outing for the society display stand at a major canal gathering. The stand will be on display and manned by society members over the Easter week end.


Check out the latest fashion in society sweatshirts. Anyone interested in buying a sweatshirt or tee-shirt please watch this space for further information.

m&s.sweatshirt2 (2)

British Waterways

British waterways have been commissioned by the society to carry out a canal restoration feasibility study. They are expected to report this autumn.

Reddish Mill Owners Unveil Canal Plans

Local support for the restoration of the Stockport Arm is demonstrated in the concept picture published in the Stockport Express. It shows that with a little imagination the restoration of this local canal can be beneficial towards regeneration of the local environment.

reddish mill2reddish mill102

British Waterways release pre feasibility report

British waterways have released the final version of the pre feasibility report. British Waterways report This report generaly examines the basic condition of the original canal line regarding the possible condition of the infill , obstructions due to building or buried services  together with initial estimates  for reinstatment.  This report will form the basis for discussion on how next to proceed. The good news is that there does not appear to be any show stoppers.


            The Manchester and Stockport Canal Society  obtains charitable status

Our  society now has charitable status. We should receive our registration number within the next month. Charitable status will assist the society with its finances and make it easier to apply for grant money.


   The Manchester and Stockport Canal Society  obtains charitable status

The society has now received its charity number which is 1116484.


The old Heywood crane site has now been demolished and will be replace by domestic houses. The Stockport Council planning department in co-operation with Barrats has taken care that the development will not encroach on the canal line.


The MSCS is represented at the Anderton blockade supporting the IWA against the BW budget cuts. These cuts will not help our efforts to restore our canal and must be resisted. Together with my wife Jennie we took our boat on behalf of our society to object to the DEFRA cuts.

Join us at Marple Lock Festival 01/07/2007

The society will be represented at Marple Lock Festival. Visit: :for details.

Hollingwood Branch Canal walk  15th March 2008

On the 15 th March we walked the secound part of the Hollingwood Canal (Fairfield Branch). The walk led by Martin Clark was very well attended. Martin explained the route of the canal and its relevance to local industry such as iron making and coal mining. Daisy Nook is a fascinating area and a hidden gem. A visit to this area is strongly recommended.