Blog Archives

Your say on Kidsgrove Canals


The Harecastle Tunnel, Kidsgrove

The Kidsgrove Town Team would like the community to take part in a survey to improve local Canals.  The Kidsgrove waterfront project will hopefully see improvements to moorings, footpaths, lighting and facilities.  The Town Team is also looking to tap into our local heritage to promote Kidsgrove and the Canal area.

Business Development Officer, Trudi Barnard said: “The Kidsgrove Town Team thinks that the canal is an important asset for the town and wants to see if it can be used as a focus for improving facilities and attracting visitors. A number of project ideas have been proposed – some can be done quite quickly, some will take longer, some will only happen if we can get grant funding and some will be in the hands of other organisations.”

“We would like to know what YOU think about the proposals. What aspects should we concentrate on? Which projects would have the most impact on making you use the canal and towpaths more. So whether you are a resident, narrow boater, dog walker, local business, interested in local heritage or simply want to make your views known, please take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire.”

COPY the link into your web browser to complete an online survey:

Print off the paper version if you prefer: Paper version of equestionnaire Jan 14

A Mission to Restore Kidsgrove Canals

Canal dredging has finally taken place at the Hardingswood junction to Harecastle Tunnel, North Portal following a local campaign to clean up Kidsgrove Canals.  Jon Honeysett MBE, Joan Walley MP, Kidsgrove Town Councillors, local IWA Branch officers, and members of the public who traverse the towpath from Harecastle Tunnel’s North Portal, look forward eagerly to the cleaned-up section, cleared of obstructions, completed by 20th December 2013, enabling work to proceed on brightening up Kidsgrove’s Heritage Waterfront from 2014 onwards.

On Friday 1st November, a meeting took place at Kidsgrove Town Hall with the Canal River Trust, Kidsgrove Town Team and members of the Kidsgrove Community.  The meeting was to outline future plans to be displayed in the Town Hall on Saturday 30th November – a new Kidsgrove Waterfront Project is now considered a part of the larger Kidsgrove Transport ‘Hub’ plan being promoted by Staffordshire County Council and East Midlands Trains.

Jon Honeysett said: “the Uplander Wharf has been dredged and the boats are floating beautifully and not sticking as before.
“Beyond the bridge is still to be dredged and so far hundreds of tonnes of muck have been removed – an unbelievable amount.”

The Photographs show the dredging sequence taken on the morning of Thursday 21 November 2013, between the road overbridge into the railway station car park (full!) and Hardingswood junction.  By kind permission of the Canal and River Trusts’ contractor, James Dennis, of Land & Water Services Ltd.  Photo’s were taken on site of tugs and loaded barges – the dredged mud-spoil is taken by heavy lorry, seen being loaded by Mr Richard Drover, to a spoil-site at Haydock, near the M6 at Runcorn.

The next section to be dredged is up to the Harecastle tunnel entrance, and will hopefully, remove the obstructions currently blocking the navigation.

Sarah Honeysett has kindly shared recent photographs of the canal dredging preparations and beautiful autumn scenes.  Please do not reproduce without written permission. 

Kidsgrove Town Team on Tour


Kidsgrove Town team on a fact finding mission in Marple, Stockport.

On Sunday 20th October the Kidsgrove Town Team consisting of Councillors, Businesses and Newcastle Borough Council officers visited Marple outside Stockport.  Marple is renowned for its Canal that runs in close proximity to the town centre. 

Councillor Sue Ingham of Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council joined the Kidsgrove Town Team and gave a tour of Marple.  Sue talked about how she believes the canal can play a big role in the future of her Town and what challenges there have been in recent years.  Joining with the Civic Society and local organisations Sue explained how the project had been driven by volunteers, businesses and most importantly local people. 

There is a real movement for change in Marple and it is believed Kidsgrove could do something similar to boost trade in Kidsgrove Town Centre and to make our town more attractive to visitors.  It’s not going too far to suggest we could really benefit from tourism.  Kidsgrove as a town underestimates itself and the question is why?  We have the Harecastle Tunnel!  It is made up of two separate, parallel, tunnels described as Brindley (2,880 yards) and the later Telford (2,926 yards) after the engineers that constructed them. Today only the Telford tunnel is navigable. The tunnel is only wide enough to carry traffic in one direction at a time and boats are sent through in groups, alternating northbound and southbound.  This is a great feat of engineering that should be recognised more but Kidsgrove needs to play a part in the promotion of this famous structure.


Board member of the Kidsgrove CIC and Chair of Environment and Infrastructure, Elliot Ashton said: “The Kidsgrove Town Team was made to feel very welcome in Marple.  Whilst Marple is different in size to Kidsgrove it is very similar in its obstacles it is trying to overcome.  It was useful to quiz the two key figures on how they engaged with the public and different organisations, as this is the stage we are at in Kidsgrove.”