Rivers around Greater Manchester – photos & editorial for MEN

EYEWITNESS 2015 blog by Aidan O'Rourke

River Irwell from Cromwell Bridge, Broughton
 
Here’s my article and photos published in the Manchester Evening News on Thursday 10 December, 2015. During the previous days, record amounts of rain fell on the UK and Ireland, causing major flooding. Thankfully, Manchester was spared the worst. I decided to produce a photo-feature and editorial piece on the subject of local rivers. As ever I had to cram what I wanted to say into 200 words. Below are photos of rivers, including a couple of unpublished ones. Usually there is space for only four or five photos in the piece. The title and introduction were written by staff at the MEN.

TAKE A DIP IN HISTORY OF OUR RIVERS
Manchester’s waterways have played a big part in the way the city has developed – from ancient times and the industrial rvolution right up to the present day, when the flow of nature is still a powerful force.

Manchester is defined by its rivers. The three stripes on the City of Manchester coat of arms symbolise the the Medlock, the Irk and the Irwell, which forms the boundary between Manchester and Salford. In the 20th century, Manchester spilled south across the Mersey into Cheshire, reaching as far south as the Bollin. Around Greater Manchester we have the Douglas, the Tame, the Roch, the Etherow, the Goyt and many smaller streams such as Bradshaw Brook in Bolton and the Lady Brook in Stockport. Rivers are put under pressure when heavy rain falls, as we’ve seen in recent days. Not many remember the floods along the Irwell in Salford in the 40s and 50s. The Anaconda Cut, completed in the 70s, straightened out an elbow of the Irwell, allowing more water to flow. Levees were added to the Mersey as a protective measure, but there is still occasional flooding along Ford Lane. Rivers are places of recreation, where you can cycle, jog or do canoeing. I prefer to walk and occasionally stop to take carefully composed photos! I’m now taking bookings for my photo walk in the city centre, Sunday 13 Feb, £25 for MEN readers. www.aidan.co.uk

River Mersey flooding on Ford Lane Northenden, 6 Nov 20000

River Mersey flooding on Ford Lane Northenden, 6 Nov 20000


 
High water on the River Irwell by Regent Rd Bridge, Manchester city centre

High water on the River Irwell by Regent Rd Bridge, Manchester city centre


 
The start of the river Mersey in Stockport

The start of the river Mersey in Stockport


 
River Mersey weir and salmon ladder 30 July 2003 - not published in the MEN piece

River Mersey weir and salmon ladder 30 July 2003 – not published in the MEN piece


 
Source of the river Goyt in the Pennines

Source of the river Goyt in the Pennines


 
Heaton Mersey dusk image through branches

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Aidan O'RourkeAidan O'Rourke has been active in photography and online media since 1995. He has documented the development of the local area in his Eyewitness website (1997-2005) and as a contributor to books, publications and the Manchester Evening News. He runs photography walks in Manchester and Liverpool.