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Bury Canal Society

News & Information from the Chairman

MBBCS Chairman photoCommunity Celebration Event at Prestolee Locks

Saturday 15 June 11am – 5pm

This event completes the “Bridging the Gap” project which MB&BCS has been running with five local Primary Schools since January.
      About 50 children will be guided by local artist Mark Gilbert to install a work of art across the canal and to display ten banners that they have created, hung from the Meccano Bridge. Families, the local community and MB&BCS members are invited to celebrate these achievements, learn about their local heritage and have a good day out.
      There will be lots of things for everyone to enjoy and experience, including food, drinks, music, art, craft and retail stalls, angling, cycling, canoeing, nature walks and other activities.

Stoneclough Community Woodland Project

On behalf of the local community at Prestolee, the Society has successfully applied for government ‘Pocket Park’ funding to improve an area of overgrown land owned by Bolton Council situated next to the canal behind Prestolee School. The project group includes MB&BCS, Bolton at Home, Kearsley Area Forum, Prestolee Primary School, local Scouts and youth club, Prestolee church and the three local councillors; they have all supported the application and are running volunteer work parties to improve the site.  
     The plans are to survey and uncover what is on the site, create paths to give safe access around the site and to the canal towpath. We aim to plant native trees, shrubs and bulbs, and create a dry hedge from coppiced branches. Wherever possible we will keep and improve existing features. Work started in mid-March and has so far included litter picking, tree felling and the creation of the dry fence; it should all be completed by the end of May with an Open Day on Saturday 6th July. The project is being managed by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.
     The Stoneclough Community Centre has adopted a half mile stretch of the canal towpath from Ringley Locks to Prestolee Fold Bridge. MB&BCS is building a new flight of steps from the woods to the canal which will improve the link from the recently renovated and well-used towpath to the village.

Other recent progress:

  • Consultations for the Bee Network funding for cycling and walking continue, principally with Bolton, though it looks as if our towpaths are not compatible with the criteria being laid down for the network.
  • Ahlstrom has a quote for repairs to the steam crane boiler and they have asked us to help with the paperwork.
  • The towpath improvement work continues from Nob End to Hall Lane and is expected to be completed by June.
  • One down side is that Bolton Council is not able to progress the tourist signs to the Meccano Bridge; the bridge does not qualify as a visitor attraction (apparently staff, catering and toilets are needed), and there is no suitable onsite parking. I have asked if we paid for a single sign, would they erect it at Rock Hall to point visitors in the right direction.
  • We were pleased to welcome back Waterway Recovery Group North West to work on the canal in February.
  • Our publicity/sales stand will be at Bolton Library for the local history event on Saturday 11th May from 10-30 to 3pm.

Paul Hindle
May 2019


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