History of the Canal – The Restoration

In 1987 the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal Society was formed and has cleared some parts of the canal and towpath. The Society has tried to have the line of the canal protected by objecting to planning applications where the line of the canal would be affected and ensured that the local authorities protected the line of the canal in their Unitary Development Plans.

With the publication of books about the canal, circulation of the canal society magazine, guided walks and giving slide and talk shows to groups locally, and in other parts of the country, The Society has tried to promote to enthusiasts and the general public the restoration of the canal. The society has educational open meetings and often the speakers talk about other canal restoration schemes. Four magazines are published every year and, in this way, members, elected members of the three local authorities, officers of the local authorities and members of parliament are kept informed of our activities and aspirations.

In 1995 the society changed from being an informal society to become a limited company and a registered charity.

In 1996 the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society, the three local authorities and British Waterways, worked to produce a detailed application to the Millennium Commission for funding to restore part of the canal. The bid was not successful but a lot of the detailed work carried out for the bid will be of use in the future.

The Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society Council is committed to working in partnership with others to restore the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal.

Since the end of 2000 the society has been working in partnership with British Waterways and the three local authorities (Bolton, Bury and Salford) to restore the canal. This parnership is working well.

Restoration of the canal was announced by British Waterways in 2002, and the first 500m length was re-opened in September 2008.

In 2012 the Society built a Meccano Bridge at Nob End in Little Lever. The bridge was designed by artist Liam Curtin, and the Society was the Principal Sub-Contractor for Bolton Council.

A second stage of improvements has been agreed with Canal & River Trust to clean up the locks and make them more visible and accessible.

The photos show the 2008 restored length at Middlewood in Salford (above) and the Meccano Bridge at Nob End (with digital water!) (left).

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