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Brighton University researchers travel over 250 miles to investigate Ashton canal heritage
Wednesday 26th July 2017 @ 16:34 by Adam Higgins
Ashton Tameside

Researchers from Brighton University are nearing the end of a project to investigate the heritage of the Ashton and Rochdale canals in Greater Manchester.

Dr Abigail Wincott, Dr Paul Gilchrist and Professor Neil Ravenscroft, have looked at a variety of resources including the Tameside Local Studies & Archives Centre in Ashton, with Abigail Wincott adding: “This is one of the best local studies centres we’ve seen and the town has a fascinating and important history – very rich, very colourful.”

The team have created three colourful multimedia trails for Ancoats, Holt Town/Beswick and Droylsden-Ashton-under-Lyne.

The tour encourages towpath walkers to think twice about the stone walls, cobbles and lumps of concrete they pass along the towpath and around town.

“But this is just the start”, says Abigail Wincott, “If you have knowledge about the local area, especially the canals, then we want you to produce more trails for people to enjoy.”

She hopes trails might feature local buildings and industries, family histories and social movements as well as the many characters that have lived here in Ashton-under-Lyne over the years, commenting:

“If you’ve done some family history research, if you remember campaigning for the canal to be restored, if you have always wondered what that funny looking building used to be – get down to the Local Studies and Archive Centre, get your old photos out, get talking to people – and it could all be the start of a memorable heritage trail.”

The team would like to return to the Local Studies and Archive Centre to run workshops and an exhibition at a future date.

For more information, visit the project blog on:  or visit



By Abi White