On January 21st 2017 the Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy project will be part of a canal Open Day event run by the Canal & River Trust. The event kicks off at 10am at Lock 14, Lockside Road, Marple, with a packed agenda for all the family.
A main attraction will be the rare opportunity to walk along the bottom of the canal and admire the 200-year-old original stonework! Staff from Canal & River Trust will be giving guided talks at (and in!) Lock 14 throughout the day.
However, it’s not only the historic stonework on show. Visitors will be taken back a couple of centuries to ‘meet’ Georgian canal engineers Benjamin Outram and Thomas Brown, who designed and built the Peak Forest Canal. Outram and Brown will be making an appearance at Lock 14 at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm for promenade performances along the canal, ending at the Forces Club.
The main event for us at the Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy project, however, is the launch of our online archive. We thought there’d be no better time to do so! This will showcase the hundreds of artefacts, documents and previously unseen photos collected and catalogued by volunteers about Samuel Oldknow and his legacy. Some key archaeological finds include a three-foot long spanner (complete with washer and nut); a glass inkwell; a bone billiard ball; a cast iron kettle; an amazingly well-preserved leather shoe and lots of beautiful ceramics and glass. You will have the opportunity to see these wonderful finds for the first time. This will then be available via our website for you to explore from the comfort of your own home. A real celebration of what our volunteers have achieved over the past year!
The Open Day won’t just appeal to historians and engineers: There will be a range of other activities available for all, including family craft activities, information about volunteering and the opportunity to feed back on landscaping plans for the area around Marple Lime Kilns.
The family crafts include the opportunity to make your own ‘navvy neckerchief’ personalised with your own mark, which is what the original canal navvies used to mark every stone they laid to ensure they were paid! The workshops will again be held at the Forces Club, where Vicky Entwistle from the project will be on hand with information on a wide range of volunteering opportunities and the free archaeology training programme.
The Canal & River Trust runs these types of Open Days at various locations across the country during periods of necessary maintenance work, during which the waterways are closed to traffic. They are unique to each location, and therefore it is an exceptional opportunity here in Marple to learn about - and enjoy - the legacy and canals that Samuel Oldknow left here.