Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Atlas on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:32 am

cyfrifia wrote:Atlas's idea that old industrial sites will be taken over by a covering of vegetation within a few years is correct, but it is only a thin layer. If a genuine nature reserve is to be established in a town centre that has been hammered and exterminated by human activity, it needs to be more thoughtfully done than just fencing off an area and hoping for the best. The answer lies in the soil, and in the water, and how they work together.

I think you take me a little bit too literally. Of course you would make some additions of top soils and variegated meadowland seeding etc etc. My point was - no crazed gardeners with shears and weedkillers and keep out the machines thereafter. Nature has it own ways. And don't forget the natural ponds, derelict structures and marshes whilst you're at it. I suppose you could use the Town Hall as a centre piece. Seems reasonable to me. Wink

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  cyfrifia on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:01 am

For several reasons, making a wildlife conservation type area in and around the river Roch through the middle of Rochdale would be a very useful thing to do, and perhaps be more of a turning point for the town than might at first be apparent. The geography of the Roch river system makes it a fairly crucial candidate for this kind of work repairing the wider landscape and natural ecosystem. It depends whether people think all is well as it is, and we can carry on with long-term destruction of nature and wildlife, or whether they actually feel the need to reverse some of the damage and give nature some help and opportunity to heal itself.

How seriously is this 'wildlife area' idea being taken?

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:44 pm

cyfrifia wrote: How seriously is this 'wildlife area' idea being taken?
It's an integral part of the RMBC Heritage Lottery Bid and you can easily read the council's overview on it's own website, which includes :-


The project aims to recreate a natural habitat ,encouraging wildlife spotted elsewhere on the Roch, such as the dipper, kingfisher, pipistrelle bats, water crowfoot and otters into the town centre


The old Gas Works site could perhaps be 'healed' under the ministry of local rebirth and the project's scope.









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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Poppyanna555 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:27 pm

At 53 years of age, I witnessed a Kingfisher on the River Roch behind Mellor Street, it was the first time I had ever seen this bird in the flesh and I will never forget it, it had been a sunny'showery morning and it's plumage shimmered.

Last year, I saw my second, on the canal at Belfield....I guess it just goes to show that beauty is all around us, even in deprived Rochdale!

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Hinch on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:31 pm

I saw my first in the retaining wall near the old weir adjoining the sewage works. Such grace and beauty in such a squalid location.

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  teamplayer2 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:41 pm

seen this bird in the flesh and I will never forget it, it had been a sunny'showery morning and it's plumage shimmered.

Did you shimmer while you were in the flesh Poppy. Shocked

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Hinch on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:44 pm

Hinch wrote:I saw my first in the retaining wall near the old weir adjoining the sewage works. Such grace and beauty in such a squalid location.

Just had a thought, maybe the kingfisher was looking at me and thinking the same?

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  teamplayer2 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:47 pm

Could have been Hinch.

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  cyfrifia on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:53 pm

The world of nature is not so far away, there are quite a few beautiful birds that belong to the local rivers, kingfishers, dippers, different kinds of wagtails, moorhens, heron, swallows that skim across above the surface. All they need is a living river and a bit of safety on either side. They survive in quiet, forgotten places, but they will come to live in the centre of town if things are arranged to allow them.


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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Poppyanna555 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:59 pm

TP2 wrote:
Did you shimmer while you were in the flesh Poppy.

No TP2, my days of 'shimmering' are well and truly over.....but you should have seen me in the late 60's!!! Very Happy

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  teamplayer2 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:03 pm

teamplayer2 wrote:Could have been Hinch.

Mind you it could have been thinking where specsavers was in Rochdale? affraid

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  teamplayer2 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:05 pm

Poppyanna555 wrote:TP2 wrote:
Did you shimmer while you were in the flesh Poppy.

No TP2, my days of 'shimmering' are well and truly over.....but you should have seen me in the late 60's!!! Very Happy

I suppose we could all say that Poppy. Very Happy

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Poppyanna555 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:08 pm

Heron seen regularly behind Newbold Street.....there.....in the space of approximately 2 miles of the centre of Rochdale we have Kingfishers, Deer and Heron, but then, we could all walk round Rochdale blind with our eyes open only to the negatives! Having said that, I have to admit that the negatives are taking over at the moment, darn shame!

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Poppyanna555 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:13 pm

I saw deer on the canal at Belfield too last year.....I think I forgot to mention that.....who says I live in a deprived area?!

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Charly on Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:41 pm

I've seen deer on the fields at the side of Smithybridge Road, they also can be seen along the canal on Todmorden Road

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Atlas on Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:52 pm

The case is 'rested' - there you have it. On my infrequent returns to the Dale I have seen a remarkable change to the canal and the river (knowing it my youth in the fifties and the cess-pit it then was). For very little money and a lot of nounce the 'wildlife' part of the scheme is a winner - BUT - like everything else it will have to be properly 'policed' once in-situ otherwise the less 'bright' (especially the young teenager) and the 'less well intentioned' will use, abuse and misuse it. Irregular 'Night patrols' and skillful planting of trees and copses so as not to give too much cover for humans will be essential to keep the area safe and usable. It is to be hoped you have some people for such a scheme who have had previous experience. IF NOT, BRING SOME IN. Neutral Fair Fortune.

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  cyfrifia on Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:41 am

People can co-exist with nature, and it is technically possible to establish an excellent wildlife area along the river. As you point out, Atlas, how people behave is the crux of the matter. Small islands, swampy places, thorny bushes can all be used, but whoever designs it should not underestimate the need for fortification of some areas. Better to see a kingfisher in the distance than not at all.

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on-going yes/no interlude

Post  cyfrifia on Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:08 am

Still awaiting decisions, http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/2/news-headlines/88026/no-decision-on-river-reopening

Critics are concerned about the cost and say the existing scheme to open the river is is little more than three "inspection holes" in the ground, the design an "uninspiring mix of concrete and glass that will do nothing but attract litter"

A quicker, more interesting, informal and especially nature-freindly result could be achieved at lower cost with the intelligent use of dynamite, and would have the sense of an event to celebrate, rather than long drawn out process. Dynamite didn't win a Nobel prize for nothing. Everlasting delay, uncertainty and associated cost is perhaps an argument in favor of a more Mayorial style of local government?

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Chill37 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:41 pm

i recall seeing images of slopes leading down to the water edge, aka Hebden Bridge etc.  As it stands it wil now be three holes in the ground.  Forget all the spin and comments being banded about thats the hard facts.  I WAS in favour of the openings Based on the sloped access to the river.  I even mentioned on the exhibition bus that the river needed to be opened in front of the town hall .

Then i saw images that we see today of the glass/concrete future looking openings.  Nothing like the railed lined openings.  Unless the glass is bullet proof and the concrete walls non stick to paint-aint going to last long.  Then we have the RO article of £200,000 pa upkeep.  First I know of that figure- certainaly not been mentioned by some quarters of Rochdale so called movers and shakers.  

Clarity is needed.  So much has been said about rumours to other hertage grants linked to this bridge opening etc or stone faced walls being promised...so on and so forth. Even links have been made to election days next year - no me either!!- I feel that this is more of a legacy project to a small percentage than to the Town as a whole.  And thats wrong.

All the rumours are fast turning into a torrent (such as the reported email campaign to Cllrs ) so its hard to know fact from fiction now with many claims of responsiblilty etc.    No doubt I will be called negative etc but bottom line is - its turned into a right mess of claims and counter claims.  A line needs to be drawn and a final call made on the river opening.  It may not stop rummours on social media sites or maybe the odd witch hunt but at the end of the day its what us the people of Rochdale have to live with,

Too many chiefs etc spring to mind

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  cyfrifia on Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:29 am

It isn't apparent what exactly is 'heritage themed' about concrete and bulletproof glass inspection holes, more a sign of present times. Perhaps it's leaping too far into the future to consider the idea of bringing natural landscape back into town? In the context of Greater manchester, a great advantage Rochdale has is the Pennine landscape accessible around it. To invite that into the town centre with a more natural looking riverside could be both cheaper and better than hard concrete type landscaping, certainly more appealing and likely to attract interest and repeat visits. The idea of using explosives to achieve that is serious. Modern explosives are often used with remarkable precision and safety. The method avoids compacting the earth, and is quick. Regrowth of nature on 'bomb sites' is also well known to be rapid, the earth, being loose and aerated is ideal. Liberate the river!

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Chill37 on Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:35 am

Must admit bit perplexed about your explosives interest...

However least we agree about the concrete etc not being heritage.  Never mind we have been promised stine clad walls oh and the refurb of the Walk with York Stone plus multi million pound improvements to our Town hall are at risk if the River doesnt open.  Dont get me wrong im all for improvements to eye sores etc.  But what irks me it all these promises generate from one area of source only and nothing ever seems to happen.  Seems to me its all self promotion.  I think its more of a legacy project than one to benefit the Town.   I know it looks like Im zeroing in on one source, but when all you hear is a constant stream of onformation then the only re-course is to direct queries at one source.  

Makes you wonder what RMBC is doing to inprove our town. Or is the source of all the information being issued taken from RMBC

Who knows.

But at the end of the day, its our town that is suffering and other towns are actually builidng their regen. Such as Oldham.

Make a descision and then whether its good or bad act on it or move on.

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  cyfrifia on Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:27 pm

Quite agree with your analysis there, Chill, politics as is works too much on  the interplay of personal ambitions rather than the motivation to achive things to make life better for everyone, resulting in the sort of everlasting faff you describe.

I am not advocating carpet bombing of Rochdale town, unless it could be done within health and safety regulations by sending everyone on holiday and rebuilding a better place for them to come back to. My emphasis is on what is best for nature, bringing nature into town, getting a sense of regrowth and the fullness of life that living in a natural environment brings. It is surprising how much damage is done to the landscape by heavy machinery compacting the earth while building this sort of riverside project, that compaction is damaging and long lasting, hench the use of either manpower, doing things by pick and shovel, or the precise use of explosives, a very established and reasonably safe technique.

Rivers are important in many ways, by making the most of the natural advantages of the river and surrounding landscape, Rochdale could start to re-make itself as a place for the future, but it will need informed and coherent vision and ability to act decisively within the local authority, that's where the pragmatic idea of a mayorial style of local government could be helpful?

All designs for paved shopping malls with concrete and so on are already retro, by the time they are built the style will be history, whereas a return to natural landscape is classic, it will never go out of date.


Last edited by cyfrifia on Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Chill37 on Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:37 pm

Nope we dont need a Mayor- another level of pen pushers. And yet more claims and counter claims about how sucessful they are.

So do we get a better service? Doubtful.

As for a third shopping centre- regardless of style we dont need it. Speaking of style look at how old Trafford Centre looks now. very old and beaten. Ah sorry forgot thjey are starting to re-build it. Ive seen reports and planning permission for a third level and re vamp.

As for us we are still talking about it.. I shall now await the deluge of trolls and nasty comments to come my way for being negative.

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  cyfrifia on Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:53 pm

Rochdale summer gig guide.

Once again we eagerly await the brain splitting rythms and ear splitting lyrics of our favorite local band, Deluge of Trolls will be entertaining the crowds. Lookout for the supporting group, Nasty Rumours, with their very special off the wall echoes sound arrangement, a wealth of talent, and fingers firmly on the pulse of what is happening.

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

Post  Atlas on Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:34 am

It would be a great shame and a far long lasting curse on the town's present movers and shakers should they 'screw' this one up by lack of money or by plying for personal aggradisement. It's too important a 'move' to suffer from 'fools'. Any chance of the town centre getting another 'face-lift' could be aeon's in the future and to have to live with yet another fiasco like the 'black box affair' would be too much - really too much.
There's no reason why this project shouldn't have the 'time to reflect' or the correct 'funding in place' to produce the 'right' goods.
I agree with previous recommendations that the project should reflect a natural classical look in keeping with the majority of its surroundings. We don't want 'gherkins' or porcupines' or anything else that is the trend. We want something that generations can appreciate - and we want it to last without constant renovation.

How often do we have to say it --.  GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME. It's cheaper in the long run.

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Re: Rochdale should create a riverside, heritage themed town centre

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