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The Beat Bank Breach

Canals that never were: NarrowBoat, Autumn 2019

Richard Dean

Richard Dean details an unfortunate Ashton Canal project

The Manchester Ashton-under-Lyne & Oldham Canal Company was incorporated in 1792, but with Canal Mania under way, it sought powers the following year for further extensions. This included a level branch from Clayton to Stockport, with a lockless sub-branch from Reddish to serve collieries near Beat Bank in the Tame Valley. Construction was soon in hand, but with rising costs and good sources of coal available elsewhere, the Beat Bank Branch was soon deemed uneconomic and all further work was halted. Attempts were made to formally abandon the branch, or to transfer it to the colliery owners, but after paying compensation to affected landowners the proposal passed into obscurity. A few yards of the branch at the junction were put in water, and much of the level cutting was done on the other 3 miles. The main outstanding works were a tunnel or deep cutting in Reddish, the high embankment over the culvert that had been built in Denton Wood, and the final 500 yards to the main road at…

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