We will be opening lock 91 on the Rochdale Canal for one night only to celebrate Manchester's musical heritage, by playing a set of Hacienda club classics, in homage to the famous club which was located just metres from the lock. Visitors can dance the evening away under the star lit sky and sway their glow sticks to music by local DJ ‘Just Jane' all 14ft down inside a drained lock chamber.
The one-off music event on Friday December 1 is part of a free open weekend taking place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd December at locks 90 and 91 on the Rochdale Canal, to highlight the essential works being carried out by us. Throughout the weekend visitors will be able to walk in the drained lock chambers and canal, seeing up close the vast quantity and array of rubbish that gets thrown into the water, while learning about how we look after this busy section of canal and the challenges it faces.
The works to the Rochdale Canal will cost £100,000 and are being carried out as part of our £38million, five-month programme of repairs to England and Wales' waterways between November 2017 and March 2018.
Mark Wigley, our construction manager says: "This is the first time we've held an open day in Manchester and we're really excited to show locals all the hard work that's gone into its restoration. We're carrying out these vital repairs to ensure the canal in this bustling part of Manchester city centre is kept in great working order for everyone who loves and uses it.
"Our historic waterways are still working as they were designed to 200 years ago and we work year-round to keep them open and safe for everyone to enjoy, this requires a huge amount of planning, investment and expertise and we're investing in local training for apprentices to ensure these skills can be passed on."
Visitors to the Manchester open weekend can also look around a pop-up museum, showcasing some of the weird and wonderful finds from below the waterline. There will be ‘virtual hubs' where people can plug in and watch a virtual reality video of some of our more unusual and awe-inspiring locations, re-enactments from the birth of the Rochdale Canal, and an exhibition of historic images from the area. And to carry on the weekend's music theme, visitors on Saturday will be entertained by a local choir singing Christmas carols in the lock.
Event details: Friday 1 December – free evening music event 6pm-9pm, this will be first come first served. Saturday 2nd and 3rd December – open weekend, 10am-4pm both days. There is no parking at the event. The towpath runs alongside Whitworth Street West off Deansgate in Manchester City Centre. Entry to the event is on the towpath between lock 91 and lock 92. Site postcode: M3 4LA.
Please wear sensible footwear. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult to go into the locks. The lock chambers are not suitable for wheelchairs, however there will be a viewing area from street level.