Manchester Branch

Welcome to Manchester Branch with its hugely historic and exciting waterways. The branch canals range from the massive Manchester Ship Canal to the steeply climbing Huddersfield Narrow Canal with the highest and longest canal tunnel in Britain at its summit.

b-aqueductThe area has seen many successful restorations and has several in-hand (see panel to right). When possible we organise trips into the derelict but fascinating underground sections of the Manchester & Salford Junction Canal.

Canals within the Manchester Branch boundaries are listed here.


Talks and meetings - Our Winter Talks, held on the 2nd Monday of each month from October to April, cover many subjects including canal architecture, engineering, history, the future, nature and much more. Please come and support these - you’re can be sure of a warm welcome, whether you are an IWA member or not, and you will be guaranteed an interesting and informative evening.

Work parties - IWA Manchester Branch holds regular work parties on the third Saturday of each month as well as bigger work party weekends. See our work parties page for further details and for reports of recent work parties.

Celebration of Operation Ashton - Operation Ashton was a significant event in the campaign to reopen the Lower Peak Forest and Ashton Canals ultimately making it possible to cruise the 'Cheshire Ring' via the centre of Manchester. Although Operation Ashton was 50 years ago the need to campaign for our waterways has never ceased. Maybe you were one of the volunteers that weekend, or any of the other working party's needed to keep the momentum going, who no longer feels able to wield a pick and shovel but still wants to do something to keep our canals open. Perhaps wielding a pen or keyboard instead, perhaps as a member of our Branch Committee, could be the ideal way to keep alive the spirit, not just the memory, of those volunteers who chose action all those years ago.

For more information about what we do just talk to any member of our Committee.

Other events - See our events page for details of further talks and local waterway events.

Please Help the Branch We welcome new committee members. Remember there is no branch without a committee. We have vacancies and we need your help!. Talk to Phil to find out more. There's no need to wait to be elected at the next AGM, you can be co-opted until then.

Contact the Branch

Phil Broughton: chairman(at)

Local Waterways

Ashton Canal
Bridgewater Canal
Huddersfield Narrow Canal
Leeds and Liverpool Canal
Macclesfield Canal
Manchester Ship Canal
Peak Forest Canal
Rochdale Canal

Find us on Facebook and Instagram: announcements, news and pictures of events in our area. 

Restorations in our Area

Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal
   Society:    MBBCS
Branches of the Ashton Canal
   Society: Hollinwood : HCS
   Society: Manchester &
                 Stockport MSCS
Bugsworth Basin
    Society: BB Heritage Trust
                  (formerly IWPS)
Manchester & Salford Junction
(Underground) Canal

Latest News

See News from our Area
(updated 10/03/18)