Globe puts town’s history on the map

Mark Turner from Pennine Prospects and Geoff Wood from LAG, at the new globe on Rochdale Canal, Todmorden
Mark Turner from Pennine Prospects and Geoff Wood from LAG, at the new globe on Rochdale Canal, Todmorden

CANAL users and passers-by have spotted a new addition to the towpath scenery.

A cast iron globe has been installed on the Rochdale Canal towpath by the Lever Street car park, Todmorden, to show how the town became connected to the rest of the world once the canal opened more than 200 years ago.

The globe is part of the Canal Connections project, led by Pennine Prospects, to improve heritage interpretation on the Rochdale Canal.

It is one of a number of pieces that have already been installed or are planned along the length of the canal as part of an ongoing project, which began before the summer floods.

Ruth Hair, from Pennine Prospects, is hoping the globe will become a much loved feature in Todmorden.

She said: “The piece is very tactile and the more people touch it, tracing the trade routes or just spotting all the places they have been on holiday, the more polished the globe will become.

“Cast iron has been used to reflect the canal’s industrial past and because, like the Angel of the North, this material weathers beautifully.

“It’s also fun to spot all the little islands that have been missed off the map because the casting process obviously can’t cope with very fine detail.

“I think we have missed off the Isle of Wight, for example. I do hope we don’t offend its residents.”

When the canal opened in 1804, manufactured goods could be sent east to Hull and on to Scandinavia and Russia, or west to Liverpool and then on to America and India.

The globe was cast by Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax and the pattern for the casting was made using pattern-making company Arthur Jackson and Co from Brighouse.

It sits alongside an interpretation panel which gives some interesting facts and figures about these trade routes and the economic growth of Todmorden in the 1800s.

The funding for the work has been sourced from the South Pennines Leader programme, the rural development programme for England, which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and managed by Pennine Prospects.