IWA Manchester Branch

21 April 2022

Ashton Attack (ASHTAC for short) followed on from Operation Ashton, the campaign to save the Ashton Canal. Approximately 1000 people worked on the Ashton Canal and the Lower Peak Forest Canal over a single weekend in March 1972. The event contributed to the Cheshire Ring being fully re-opened to navigation in 1976.

Ten years ago a large scale clean up took place to celebrate the 40th anniversary, with over 100 volunteers travelling from all over the country, including many of the original participants of the 1972 event. The 50th anniversary event was slightly more modest, with uncertainties over Covid preventing the planning of a larger scale event, but with a significant amount of work being carried out.

The event held on 21st and 22nd March saw over 30 volunteers from the local area and from across the north west area, cleaning up the Ashton canal in the vicinity of Portland Basin. Tasks included litter picking, vegetation removing, tree cutting and general canal-side tidying.

The event was organised by Tameside Canal Boat Trust, Canal & River Trust and IWA Manchester Branch with help from ASDA Ashton, Tameside Sea Cadets, Portland Basin Museum, Jigsaw Homes and the Wooden Canal Boat Society.