Ruffley's Bridge OnThe Huddersfield Narrow Canal – Stalybridge, Tameside, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 28.940 W 002° 03.471
30U E 562520 N 5926341
Quick Description: Bridge 101a over the Huddersfield Narrow Canal was built in 2000 as part of restoration work on the canal. It was opened by Frank Ruffley who had campaigned for 30 years to restore the canal.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/5/2013 11:35:35 AM
Waymark Code: WMH15V
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member puczmeloun
Views: 4

Long Description:
This canal is one of three that crosses the Pennine Hills and built to provide transport between Huddersfield in Yorkshire and Ashton-Under-Lyne in Lancashire.

Work started on it in 1794 and partly due to the need to construct the longest canal tunnel in the United Kingdom it was completed 17 years later in 1811.

Although in the early days the canal was profitable, competition from railways and roads meant that it had closed by 1944.

During the 1970s leisure boating in the U.K. had become popular and there were various campaigns to re-open canals that had lain derelict for a number of years.

Work on restoring this canal started in 1981 and was completed in 2001. In urban settings such as the centre of the town of Stalybridge parts of the canal had been totally filled in and built over. A number of bridges in both Stalybridge and Slaithwaite were rebuilt using funding from the Millennium Commission Lottery Fund.

This bridge carries Back Melbourne Street over the canal and was named ‘Ruffley’s Bridge’ in honour of Frank Ruffley who had campaigned for 30 years to re-open the canal. The new bridge was made wide enough to also cover the towpath.

The bridges along the canal are numbered from the start at Huddersfield. British Waterways made a decision that the bridges should retain their numbers from when the canal was first built. Any totally new bridges are assigned a letter after the nearest bridge number. This bridge was therefore given the number 101a.

The keystone on each side of the bridge has the year 2000 carved into it and on the east wall of the bridge is a lottery commission plaque and the commemorative plaque.

The plaque to commemorate the opening of the bridge has the following text.
RUFFLEY’S BRIDGE
OPENED BY
FRANK RUFFLEY
TAMESIDE’S “MR CANAL”
28TH MAY 2001
Frank Ruffley was 83 at the time of the opening of the bridge and had actively campaigned for the restoration of the canal for 30 years. He had been previously been a local Tameside councillor and for many years was the Chairman of the Tameside Canals Development Association.

The re-opening of the canal was the culmination of all his years of effort.

This Pennine Waterways Website shows pictures of the opening ceremony of the bridges and canal in Stalybridge. It includes pictures of Frank Ruffley.
What was opened/inaugurated?: Bridge 101a on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Who was that opened/inaugurated it?: Frank Ruffley

Date of the opening/inauguration?: 5/28/2001

Website about the location: [Web Link]

Website about the person: Not listed

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