Rochdale RochPhotos show progress of £4.9m project to reopen River Roch

This visionary project for Rochdale town centre is nearing completion and is shortlisted for an award. Click Here for the report and aerial photos.

The photo-montage opposite combines a Victorian photo of the river with the modern scene and was one of the early illustrations of the potential of the river reopening.

Lasers reveal ‘lost’ Roman roads

Archaeologists are using Environment Agency laser mapping data to rediscover hundreds of kilometres of ‘lost’ Roman roads.

Since 1998 the Environment Agency has used lasers to scan and map the English landscape from above to help with work such as flood modeling and tracking changing coastlines. But these LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data are also publicly available and have been used to help with everything from building virtual worlds to managing forests. In particular, it is helping to find lost Roman roads across the north of England. Click Here for the article.

The 'Toast Rack', Photo by Mikey aka Gene Hunt

The ‘Toast Rack’, Photo by Mikey aka Gene Hunt

Long maligned as eyesores and an offence to human values, modernist architecture is enjoying a passionate upsurge in interest. Edgar Wood admirer and all round modernist, Eddy Rhead, features in an excellent overview of Manchester’s brutalist architecture. Click HERE to read the article.

Arts & Crafts Awakening project meeting 6pm Thursday 11th February

Painting by the late Colin Gilbert

Painting by the late Colin Gilbert

We had a great meeting on the evening of Thursday 11th, with an excellent turnout. Fortified by pizza, cheese and biscuits and cake, we worked through the upcoming activities and plans, not least the planning of September Golden Cluster Month. With the establishment of the not-for-profit company, tACT (the Arts & Crafts Trust) last year, Middleton Heritage is now developing new areas of community heritage activity, conservation and research. Rupert Hilton gave us an update on the Redcroft restoration, which is finishing very soon. As the scaffold is wrapped in plastic sheeting, we can’t wait to see the result when it all comes off.  We also discussed some of the other up and coming THI grant schemes, not least the one for the Middleton Edgar Wood Centre, at the former Long Street Methodist Sunday School! Because of the excellent communication among group members, we are moving to a quarterly formal meeting to free up time for these new things.

Watts_Gallery_(Restored)CLICK HERE for a  wonderful set of photographs of the restored studio, opposite the Watts Gallery (illustrated), which became the home of Victorian artist Frederic Watts and his wife, designer Mary Watts, in 1891. on a new £3m million wing for Gorton Monastery is to begin next month.

It is hoped the new eco-friendly front wing will be complete by the end of this year, allowing The Monastery of St Francis & Gorton Trust to expand and extend its facilities.


Pankhurst JeeredA statue of the suffragette activist, Emmeline Pankhurst, who was born in Moss Side, is expected to be unveiled on International Women’s Day in 2019 – she is the first woman to receive the tribute in Manchester for more than 100 years.


Alkrington (2)Alkrington Garden Village was a world pioneer in garden city planning and whether parts of it should be made a conservation area have been mooted a few times in recent years, especially among heritage enthusiasts.

Middletonians are not the only ones looking at such places and a street in Cambridge is now pressing ahead to get conservation area status after an initiative by its residents.

Compare the photos of the street in Cambridge to Alkrington’s streets. You may be surprised at how well Manchester New Road, Alkrington Green, Mount Road  (pictured) and the two crescents compare to the Cambridge street. Which is better? You be the judge! Click Here to View the report and photos.

Following its study of Ye Olde Boar’s Head, Middleton Archaeological Society has become an affiliate member of VAG



Sue Oakley, the new THI officer is given a guided tour by David Morris, chairman of the Edgar Wood Society and members of the committee. We all look forward to working with Sue in the coming months and wish her well in her new position 


Thanks to Maureen, the garden is looking good. There is no end to her talents, we have seen her in previous posts  mopping the hall floor and painting the ‘beer cellar’.

We hope the visitors on Saturday from the Saddleworth Civic Trust will be suitably impressed.