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Canal, Mytholmroyd

© Lion Series E. W. L.

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Canal, Mytholmroyd

View of the Rochdale Canal, Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire.

Author: Unknown
Date: not dated
Location: Mytholmroyd
Format: Postcard - Colour
Document ID: 100068
Library ID: 34561017

Mytholmroyd is one of the smallest towns in the Calder Valley, originally a river crossing it was mentioned in 1577. The town grew when the canal and railway was introduced in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Rochdale Canal was opened in 1804 and, with the Calder & Hebble Navigation, linked the area to ports and industry in both east and west. The first water route across the Pennine stretched 32 miles from Sowerby Bridge to Rochdale via the Todmorden Gap.

There was a reaction from local mill-owners, whose mills were water-powered, when the canal planners wanted to use all adjacent streams to feed the canal; finally reservoirs were built and a small number of streams were used.

Only 36 years after the opening of the canal, the completion of the summit railway tunnel in 1840 revolutionised transport once again.

A narrow boat took about 28 hours to cover the entire length. The last boat to make the whole journey was in June 1939 and the last commercial craft in September 1937. In 1951, the canal was closed to navigation along its entire length, and in 1952 the Rochdale Canal Act made the Rochdale Canal Company no longer responsible for maintenance of navigation. Over the next twenty years the canal fell into disrepair and some parts were culverted.

In 1974, the Rochdale Canal Society started a campaign to restore the canal, and in 1986 renovation began with a £1m grant from English Heritage to restore stretches of the canal and clear blocked sections.

Since May 1996 the Rochdale Canal has been open to navigation from the Calder & Hebble Navigation at Sowerby Bridge to Littleborough - a distance of about 16 miles.

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