An illustrated talk by Brian Doman
in Gateacre Chapel, Gateacre Brow L25 3PB
on Monday 1st October at 7.30 p.m.

With the population increase in Manchester in the early 18th century, there was an increasing demand for coal. The young Duke of Bridgewater wanted to improve the efficiency of his mines north of Worsley, and also make it easier to transport it into Manchester. He firstly dug a higher level drainage channel (sough). After seeing the Canal du Midi in France on his grand tour, and also the success of the St Helens Canal, he decided to dig a canal from Worsley to Salford. By this means he both drained the mines and provided transport for the coal.

A major achievement was the building of an aqueduct across the River Irwell. (This had to be replaced by a swing bridge when the Manchester Ship Canal was built). The present canal extends from west of Worsley, where it joins the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, into Manchester. It continues to Runcorn with another branch into a tunnel at Daresbury, from which it emerges as the Trent & Mersey Canal.

Brian Doman retired after a career lecturing in Mathematics departments, chiefly in Liverpool University. Since then Brian has followed an interest in mining of various sorts, with regular attendance at the annual conference of the National Association of Mining History Organisations with visits to a number of underground mines. He has also been Chairman of the Gateacre Society since 2009, having been Vice-Chair for several years previously. His talk will be accompanied by a number of photographs taken at various points along the canal.

ALL WELCOME - Admission free - Donations invited

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