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1965: The Canal is Filled

Many occupants of Stalybridge still remember the time in 1965 when the redevelopment of the town centre included filling in the canal.

Four men were elected to drain and dredge the canal from Mottram Road to the town centre in the summer on 1966. Armed with only a small boat from Stamford Park boating lake, shovels, picks and their bare hands the men started the task.

Draining the canal was not too difficult, yes it was messy and smelly but it was fun. However what waited for them under the murky waters was no laughing matter. The haul from the 'depths' included electric and gas meters, dead cats and dogs, old boots and all sorts of rubbish folk had disposed of in the waters. With no cranes or lifting gear to help all that could be done was to clear it out, by hand and shovel what was left to the sides and the concrete pipes lowed down by rope.

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