The reopening of the River Roch and its historic bridge in Rochdale town centre will be marked with a special celebration event – and everyone is invited
The free event, on Saturday 25 June 2016, will be a showcase of Rochdale’s great heritage and artistic tradition, as well as its exciting plans for the future.

It will feature performances from local organisations including the Rochdale Rock Choir and Can’t Dance Can, while the Skylight Circus will take to the skies for an eye catching aerial performance.

Visitors will be taken back in time to the Victorian period, the time when the river was last enjoyed by Rochdale residents before being covered over for more than a century to make way for the expanding tram network. Children will be able to enjoy traditional helter skelter and carousel rides, before having a go at Victorian street games and fancy dress.

The action will centre round the newly reopened river, the town hall, The Butts and The Esplanade, with most events taking place between 11am and 4pm.

Other activities for youngsters include story telling with Professor Jiggett and wildlife and orienteering workshops with Nature Ed, who will help the children explore what lies beneath the surface of the River Roch.

Leader of the council, Councillor Richard Farnell, said: “Revealing our stunning river and bridge in the heart of Rochdale town centre is a real milestone moment for the borough and something we feel deserves a proper celebration that all our residents can enjoy. This is also an opportunity to formally thank our supporters, the Environment Agency, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the North West Regional and Coastal flood Committee, without whom this project would not have happened.

“Whether you’re coming on your own, or with your family or friends, this is a unique opportunity to find out all about our borough’s fantastic history, as well as enjoying some top class performances and entertainment, completely free of charge.”

There will be plenty of fun for grown-ups too, with professional blue badge guides leading historical trails around the town centre throughout the afternoon, as well as town hall tours. The town hall’s newly revamped eatery, the Clocktower Restaurant, will also be open for afternoon tea and selected hot treats.

Local businesses are also joining in the fun, with Greg Couzens, La Mancha and the Flying Horse among the town centre restaurants and shops which will be setting up stalls on the day. 

Separate events will take place in the evening, with river inspired poetry readings taking place at the Baum at 7.30pm. Local actor Colin Meredith will then lead a ghost walk from outside the pub at 8.30pm.


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