Peel celebrates Bridgewater Canal anniversary

Peel Group has announced an event will be taking place in July to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Bridgewater Canal.

The Bridgewater Canal Company, part of The Peel Group, has produced a limited number of commemorative coins to mark the occasion.

The Peel Group has also sponsored a number of events including the Federation of Bridgewater Cruising Clubs Rally which was held at the Bridgewater Canal in Runcorn over the May bank holiday weekend and the Concert on the Green being organised by the Worsley Village Community Association and taking place on 30 July.

Mike Webb, Bridgewater Canal manager at Peel, said: "The Bridgewater Canal celebrates its 250th anniversary of its opening on the 17 July 2011. As the canal owners, The Peel Group is proud to be part of this special year for the Bridgewater Canal and hope that you will join with us in celebrating this unique occasion. The Bridgewater Canal is a valuable amenity to the communities through which it passes. It is up to us all to ensure that we look after this wonderful asset so that future generations can continue to enjoy this solution to transport in the 18th Century, and today as a leisure opportunity for all."

The Bridgewater Canal was constructed to transport the Duke of Bridgewater's coal from his mine at Worsley.

Coal was needed in large quantities to fuel the industrial revolution and the canal enabled coal and other goods to be transported efficiently and cheaply to the rapidly expanding towns and cities.

The Bridgewater Canal has throughout its history been successful, first as a commercial waterway and latterly following cessation of freight in 1974 as a leisure waterway.

The 39 mile canal links the north and south canal network stretching from Runcorn to Leigh. The first section of the canal crossed the River Irwell by means of a stone aqueduct constructed over the River Irwell, later replaced by the Barton Swing aqueduct over the Manchester Ship Canal.

In its heyday, Peel said the canal carried more than 3m tonnes of traffic, while today it forms part of the boat cruising route known as the Cheshire Ring.

The Bridgewater connects with the Trent and Mersey Canal at Preston Brook, Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Leigh, the Rochdale Canal and The Manchester Ship Canal in Manchester.

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