Manchester lock to get the Hacienda treatment

November 2017 - Not satisfied with reaching out to cyclists, dog walkers and runners C&RT is now targetting fans of funk, disco and house music from the days of Manchester’s Hacienda club, as Peter Underwood reports.

Lock 91 on the Rochdale Canal is to host what the Trust describes as 'the World’s first DJ set in a drained canal lock chamber' and it claims, 'visitors can dance the night away to some much-loved Hacienda club classics,' - although the event ends at 9.00pm

The Friday evening gig is a precursor to one of C&RT's regular lock open weekends and the somewhat hyperbolic press release says it is happening 'to celebrate Manchester’s musical heritage, by playing a set of Hacienda club classics, in homage to the famous club which was located just metres from the lock.

'Visitors can dance the evening away under the star lit sky and sway their glow sticks to music by local DJ ‘Just Jane’ all 14ft down inside a drained lock chamber'.

It's all happening on Friday December 1 as part of a free open weekend at locks 90 and 91 on the Rochdale Canal, where the Trust is undertaking £100,000 worth of repairs as part of its reduced £38m, five-month programme of winter repairs, down from £45m in previous years.

You have to wonder whether the costs of the open weekends are included in the winter works budget with C&RT providing not only the DJ in the lock but also 'a pop-up museum, showcasing some of the weird and wonderful finds from below the waterline'.

There will be ‘virtual hubs’ where people can plug in and watch a virtual reality video of various bits of the canal system, re-enactments from the birth of the Rochdale Canal, and an exhibition of historic images from the area.

And as it is running up to Christmas visitors on Saturday will be entertained by a local choir singing Christmas carols in the lock.

How nice.

Photos: (1st) Lock 89, (2nd) Lock 90, (3rd) Lock 91, (4th) Local DJ Just Jane - set to rock the lock, however briefly.

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