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ditchcrawler

Rochdale 9

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Many years ago when we went down the Rochdale 9 I had to pay someone money, in a hut as I remember near the top for the pleasure. I would like to know who would I have paid , when and why did they stop charging,? If anyone knows I would be very grateful.

 

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I recall paying about £20 when I did the Cheshire ring in 1985. My understanding was that I was paying the Rochdale canal company, but I have no idea why that wasn't nationalised then, but is now part of the CRT empire.

 

MP.

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You'd have paid the Rochdale Canal Company - it wasn't nationalised with the rest of the network

 

When the canal was restored throughout The Waterways Trust took it over (I think on a lease) and contracted the management to BW, at which point the national licence applied. BW and TWT have since merged. The canal reopened in 2001 but I think it was a couple of years before then that the canal was transferred and the charge removed

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We too paid a man in a Hut in the car park by the top lock in 1980 when on a hire boat from Anderton - Canal & River craft I think. The boat was John Piper, all their boars being named after artists, including Two Loos Lautrect.

 

The Rochdale Canal Company became a subsidiary of Leeds based Town Centre Securities plc. After a lot of negotiations the Rochdale Canal was transferred to the Waterways Trust on 16 March 2000.

Edited by pearley

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I recall paying about £20 when I did the Cheshire ring in 1985. My understanding was that I was paying the Rochdale canal company, but I have no idea why that wasn't nationalised then, but is now part of the CRT empire.

 

MP.

By 1947, the only traffic regular traffic was up the first few locks to the electric and hydraulic power stations, with traffic over the summit ending circa 1937. It was not considered worthwhile to go to the expense of nationalising the canal. The last regular coal traffic was by James Monk, ending in December 1957, though the Bridgewater used hired L&LC boats for removing building rubble the following year. James Hewitt's was the last boat mentioned in the lock book, having passed through the locks on 10 July 1961, though I think there were further boats, notably those associated with Peter Froud, when they were trying to keep the right of navigation.

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I also remember paying to transit the 9 locks.I seem to remember that a very old gent who was a Rochdale Canal Co employee,still living in the lock keepers house which straddles the canal? Also,I seem to remember that a section of towpath could only be accessed via a door ? Did we borrow a key? I cant remember. Must have been 1973/4.

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There was a fairly bitter campaign to save the Rochdale 9 in the sixties, I think at that time the concern was the connection with the Ashton rather than the rest of the Rochdale. Worrying to think that had the 9 been lost, so too would the Ashton and Lower Peak Forest, possibly the Upper Peak Forest and the Macc, and the Huddersfield and the Rochdale itself could never have been reopened.

 

The Rodwell tower was built over the canal before abandonment was likely, had the canal been legally abandoned then other similar structures would have buried it.

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When it was still owned by the Rochdale canal company they used to drain it every winter. i never saw any maintenance take place but the amount of rubbish in it was incredible. I remember paying in the late eighties. I don't think I started boating until 86. We hired from Claire Cruisers at Anderton. The boats were awful. They were dropped by Hoseasons the following year.

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The other thing was a BW escort down the Ashton flight

Don't recall that in 1980.

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When it was still owned by the Rochdale canal company they used to drain it every winter. i never saw any maintenance take place but the amount of rubbish in it was incredible. I remember paying in the late eighties. I don't think I started boating until 86. We hired from Claire Cruisers at Anderton. The boats were awful. They were dropped by Hoseasons the following year.

In my opinion, this was done with bad intent, the idea being that frost would get behind the wash walls to cause collapse and hasten the abandonment of the canal. The route through the centre of Manchester was, and still is, worth far more as real estate rather than a canal.

 

Fortunately, the canal is made of sterner stuff and resisted all attempts to destroy it.

 

George ex nb Alton retired

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Did it in 1978 when we did the Cheshire Ring in a hire boat from Anderton.

Got to the top and there was no-one at the shed at Ducie St so we carried on down and never actually paid anyone.

Edited by Graham Davis

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http://www.waterwaysongs.co.uk/rochdale.htm

 

Chorus :
Locking down the Rochdale Nine
You won‘t want to do it a second time
Your hands are all blistered, your shoulders in pain
And because you‘re in Manchester, down comes the rain
When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

At lock number 1 you pay thirty quid
By lock number 2 you‘ll regret that you did

They secure number 1 with a padlock and chain
In case you change your mind and turn back again
When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

At lock number 3 the towpath‘s not there
In fact the canal‘s got far more than it‘s share
You can‘t get across without straddling the gates
While the tillerman curses the rain as he waits
When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

Chorus

At lock number 4 your feet get all wet
But at locks 5 and 6 they‘ll be much wetter yet
And as for the scenery it‘s not worth two hoots
And you‘d give a week‘s ale for a dry pair of boots
When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

It‘s lock number 7, not one boat has passed
The water is lapping up right round your raft
A local is helping ‘cos the top gate won‘t close
And his pet pit bull terrier‘s got hold of me clothes
When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

Chorus

By lock number 8 you‘ve given up hope
Moored to the lock-side by a short length of rope
The gate‘s wide enough for the old QE2
But the paddles are leaking so you crash your way through
When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

It‘s lock number 9. Thank God, it‘s the end
‘Cos most of your crew have gone right round the bend
They‘re shouting and cursing and swearing out loud
They sound like a part of the United crowd
When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

Locking down the Rochdale Nine
You won‘t want to do it a second time
Your hands are all blistered your shoulders in pain
And because you‘re in Manchester down comes the rain
But you‘ve finished the Rochdale Nine

 

http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/rochdale/rc2.htm

 

http://www.myrochdalecanal.org.uk/canal-history/

Edited by Ray T

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http://www.waterwaysongs.co.uk/rochdale.htm

 

Chorus :

Locking down the Rochdale Nine

You won‘t want to do it a second time

Your hands are all blistered, your shoulders in pain

And because you‘re in Manchester, down comes the rain

When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

 

At lock number 1 you pay thirty quid

By lock number 2 you‘ll regret that you did

They secure number 1 with a padlock and chain

In case you change your mind and turn back again

When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

 

At lock number 3 the towpath‘s not there

In fact the canal‘s got far more than it‘s share

You can‘t get across without straddling the gates

While the tillerman curses the rain as he waits

When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

 

Chorus

 

At lock number 4 your feet get all wet

But at locks 5 and 6 they‘ll be much wetter yet

And as for the scenery it‘s not worth two hoots

And you‘d give a week‘s ale for a dry pair of boots

When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

 

It‘s lock number 7, not one boat has passed

The water is lapping up right round your raft

A local is helping ‘cos the top gate won‘t close

And his pet pit bull terrier‘s got hold of me clothes

When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

 

Chorus

 

By lock number 8 you‘ve given up hope

Moored to the lock-side by a short length of rope

The gate‘s wide enough for the old QE2

But the paddles are leaking so you crash your way through

When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

 

It‘s lock number 9. Thank God, it‘s the end

‘Cos most of your crew have gone right round the bend

They‘re shouting and cursing and swearing out loud

They sound like a part of the United crowd

When you‘re locking the Rochdale Nine

 

Locking down the Rochdale Nine

You won‘t want to do it a second time

Your hands are all blistered your shoulders in pain

And because you‘re in Manchester down comes the rain

But you‘ve finished the Rochdale Nine

I've got the CD

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That song is how we remembered it in '83. We took advice at Dukinfield to go down the Ashton around 5am, due to unwanted attention from the local youth who were apt to throw concrete fence posts on boats from certain bridges. This we did experiencing our first engagement with anti-vandal screw locks, and arrived at Ducie Street basin in crystal clear water and passing by a sunken hatchback (with open sun roof) . . . At Ducie Street where we had orignally planned to stay for a rally prior to the Wigan National to which we were heading, the nine were surveyed with some dismay - leaking gates, dry pounds, and the contents of a Council tip in the channel. Top gates were padlocked, and the local lockie advised us that the charge was £30 for passage payable to the Rochdale Canal Company, and we certainly would not be going down that day. We stayed put in the company of a few other boaters, while the local population - young and old - tried stoning the few fish that could be seen, and skimming across the water - 'clunk'.

 

Later that evening another chap came by and informed us that from 5pm on, the Rochdale Canal Society took the reigns, and we were further advised that by judicious clearing of the bywash gratings of the lower Ashton flight of weeds and rubbish, a further increase in water supply for the nine could improve levels overnight - but don't get caught by the lockie!

 

The evening of the following day saw enough water to navigate, and deciding not to linger for the rally there, we paid our £30, going down in convoy with one other boat. Gates were bad, lock gear liable to slip so paddles had to be held up with the windlass on. Some pounds were so low we couldn't get out the lock being stuck on rubbish, then the back wash would come and lift us and drag us over all manner of stuff causing great screeching against our wooden bottoms (still composite then). One lock was being used as a swimming pool by local youth, very upset at seeing boats and their pool being 'emptied'. Glad to get into Castle Basin which itself was still derelict, and away from the area keeping a good watch on the bilge and any unwanted action from the automatic pump!!

 

It's changed a lot since then, at least cosmetically, but not a place I'd want to boat again. I'm sure the rest of the Rochdale is lovely, but the 'nine' - no thanks.

 

post-5975-0-39855400-1463301104_thumb.jpg post-5975-0-81797500-1463301134_thumb.jpg

 

post-5975-0-09736000-1463302868_thumb.jpg post-5975-0-04080700-1463302891_thumb.jpg

 

 

Edited by Derek R.

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I'd forgotten the paddle gear. Recall having to pick bits of wood from the lock side to jam in the rock to stop it dropping back down.

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Many years ago when we went down the Rochdale 9 I had to pay someone money, in a hut as I remember near the top for the pleasure. I would like to know who would I have paid , when and why did they stop charging,? If anyone knows I would be very grateful.

 

The Rochdale Canal was owned by NCP Carparks, they sold(?) It back to BW, the resevoirs were also sold to private company, hence the Rochdale struggles with water supply

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The Rochdale Canal was owned by NCP Carports.

Do you have a source for this?

 

According to the written history of the restoration of the canal there was much discussion between Town Centre Securities, British Waterways, The Waterways Trust and the Local Authorities about the transfer of the canal to the Waterways Trust.

 

I know there is a car park at Dale Street by the canal company offices but this is operated by Town Centre Car Parks who, according to Google, are owned by Town Centre Securities.

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The Rochdale Canal was owned by NCP Carparks, they sold(?) It back to BW, the resevoirs were also sold to private company, hence the Rochdale struggles with water supply

Seven of the canal's eight reservoirs were sold to local water authorities under the 1923 Rochdale Canal Act, reflecting the decline in trade on the canal after they gave up being general carriers in 1921.

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The Rochdale Canal - The Manchester 9.

As already stated the RCC was not nationalised as it was not seen as having a future in 1947, as the full length was being requested to be closed in an act, which eventually passed in 1952, but ended up excluded the Manchester 9. Thus it escaped nationalisation.

As Pluto has already said the last traffic was in the very early sixties. In 1966 the Rochdale Canal Co applied again for abandonment of the Manchester 9 to Parliament. This caused a group of canal devotees to get a traffic and using the right of navigation force a way through. The traffic was to just above lock 86 and the old gas works arm (now under the school of Business) Having got there they then had to get another traffic which they got from O'Sullivans Scrap yard in Ducie St so they could continue to the top of the nine and wind, as the RCC would not let them go to the top, before they got this traffic. The result of this passage was that the act was passed for the abandonment, but it was linked to the abandonment of the Ashton Canal happening. The Ashton was then effectively closed by a pipe being installed over a leaking Store St aqueduct.

The people involved in forcing the boat through included Pete Froud, can't remember the other names, at the moment, my be Bev Portman, was another.

After this Bessie Bunker and the IWPS campaigned to keep the canal open, for a while.

Having once managed to get a boat through, other local activists took up the mantel and would attempt to navigate the canal each year. The main group doing this were people from Worsley Cruising Club, the big William would be one of the boats another was a small fibreglass cruiser called Tiger Lily. They would pay a toll for each boat, of I think £10, for a return passage, to attempt to get to Dale St from the Bridgewater, I don't think they managed it in 1967. It was a full days task, as it use to involve removing lots of rubbish from the chambers and patching the bottom gates so the locks would fill. The RCC would provide their lock Keeper Harold Williams who lived in the lockhouse just below lock 86.

On Palm weekend in 1971 the PFCS and others, organised a 100 boats to go up and down the Manchester 9 to a rally in Manchester Dale St and Duice St Basins to campaign for the reopening of the Ashton. By this time the right of navigation had been lost on most canals and Rivers through the 1968 Transport act - not the Rochdale though, due to its suspended abandonment! The result of the rally was that the Ashton and Lower Peak Forest were then restored. The PFCS then helped to make the Manchester 9 navigable, post the opening of the rest of the Cheshire ring. The RCC by this stage was owned by the Property Tycoon, Mr Ziff and his Company Town Centre Securities (TCS). He was selling off and developing the large land holding of the RCC. Some new gates were fitted to the Manchester 9 in 1975, post the volunteers of the PFCS clearing all the lock chambers.

The Fee was now £15 for a single way passage of the Manchester 9

In 1974 the Rochdale Canal Society was formed to campaign for the restoration of the rest of the whole canal, although Manchester City Council had only just opened their linear water park from just above lock 82 to above lock 69 where the canal passed into the old Failsworth council area, now part of Oldham MBC. The only other length not converted into this shallow concrete water tray in Manchester was the pound above lock 78 which was used for a water supply to the local "Blue Works" Also the length from Piccadily basin to just above lock 82 Great Ancoats, was not touched and just left to fester.

Another group came into being The Ashton Canal Society, they worked on the bottom end of Ashton and the Manchester 9 and were responsible for clearing the 18hp Waterwheel which drives the hoists in the warehouse still standing in Dale St.

As the ring became more popular the RCC increased their toll each year approx in line with inflation, odd battles happened when further lock gates needed to be replaced.

RCS attempted to start the restoration of locks 83 and 82.

In the later 1980's the RCS started to get the canal reopened from Sowerby bridge end, and then all of a sudden the impossible happened and the millennium commission came up with the money to fully reopen the canal, this was basically from Littlebrough through to Manchester City centre, unfortunately this was based on voluntary labour costings and it was done professionally, so there was a substantial shortfall in funds required, meaning all though it was opened, it was not fully restored!. As a part of this deal the whole canal was going to become part of British Waterways, via the Waterways Trust. So a deal was reached with TCS to transfer it to WT and also with Manchester Corp to Transfer their length to WT. Interestingly only the water element of the canal was transferred and is now owned by C&RT, the towpath is still owned by Manchester City Council. I belive a CPO was part of the mechanism used, but don't know where I heard that.

The Staff working for RCC were also transfer to the WT and then C&RT.

When this happened the collection of the toll by the Car park attendant stopped, and the canal became part of the BW licence. Interestingly the number of boats recorded using the Manchester 9 significantly increased to be in-line with those using the Ashton. A major fraud was also discovered over the car parking fees for the Dale St Car Park. This may explain why we struggled justifying the number of passages though the Manchester 9 to TCS, for so many years.

 

The escorting of boats on the Ashton happened after a diplomat on holiday on a hire boat in the late 70's was robbed, mainly as they had all their wealth on display and all the doors open, it was like market day for the local scrots. Said diplomat was very upset and contacted the foreign office, who called the home office, who got the police out, and had to be seen to be doing something, so patrolled the canal for a while!
The rumours spread. PCSO still patrol both the Rochdale and the Ashton canals, as its an easy walk from the main nick.

 

There are talks happening about the summit reservoirs between UU and C&RT and the EA, its all to do with cost of maintenance and who pays, and flood management. C&RT do not want to pick up unmaintained reservoirs from UU!

--

cheers Ian Mac

  • Greenie 1

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If my memory serves me correctly we were, as an empty trading boat, allowed a free passage up the nine in the 70's. This was in the Avon en-route to an early Tameside festival. The following year however, because we were carrying a token barrel of beer to facilitate a T.V. programme, we had to pay. Regards, HughC.

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