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.

Monitoring changes on Bridgewater Canal

IWA is campaigning for England's first industrial canal - the Bridgewater Canal - over various issues which threaten its continued use by boats. Read the latest.


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.

The full programme is available on the Winter Talks page. Our first talk will be on 08 October 2018, A Celebration of Operation Ashton on its 50th Anniversary,  showing two films made in the late 60s / early 70s by Mike Heap.

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

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.

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

Kate Saffin who came to talk to us in February and her acting partner Heather Wastie are presenting their play "Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways" at The Barlow, Edgworth, Bolton on October 14th, 7:30pm. Visit or call 01204 852216

Contact the Branch

Steve Connolly: manchester(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: 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)