Today’s edition of Making Manchester was a bit different. It was broadcast live, which meant there was perhaps a bit more music than usual, as well as a live interview with a studio guest.
The main theme of the programme was water, and it contained packages based on interviews recorded in Cumbria and Trafford. The first tells the story of how Victorian civil engineers turned a small lake in the English Lake District into a reservoir in order to move some of the best drinking water in the world 96 miles along Britain’s longest aqueduct to serve the needs of the growing city of Manchester.
The programme also looked at how award-winning green technology is now used to treat Manchester’s sewage, creating farm fertiliser and clean energy in the process.
In the second half of the programme Kathleen Harrison, former chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers North West, talks about ICE North West’s forthcoming Annual Awards. The nominations from Manchester and the surrounding area include the Victoria Station redevelopment, a smaller station development at Hyde Central, a land-stabilisation project intended to prevent residents’ gardens from slipping into the River Irwell, and a wonderful project in the River Bollin at Wilmslow which allows migrating fish and eels to bypass an Environment Agency monitoring system which is necessary for gathering flood risk management and warning data but which would otherwise inhibit the passage of aquatic wildlife.
This year ICE North West has introduced a new Heritage Award, and Kathleen Harrison talks about some of the first nominations for this award. These include the Wigan Flight of locks, which help the Leeds and Liverpool Canal – one of the UK’s longest canals, which was completed 200 years ago this year – to get across the Pennines.
Another Heritage Award nomination is for a work of civil engineering which must be familiar to everyone in the country and many people abroad – Blackpool Tower, 125 years old, 518 feet 9 inches tall and nominated against some stiff opposition from other classic works of civil engineering around Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, the Isle of Man, Lancashire and Merseyside.
If you’d like to know more, ICE North West’s Twitter feed @ICENorth West will be publicising the nominations for this year’s North West Civil Engineering Awards over the next few weeks under the hashtag #ICENWawards.
Meanwhile we look forward to next week’s Making Manchester, which will tell the story of the Manchester Ship Canal – and the current Atlantic Gateway project which is set to transform the economy of Manchester, the North West and indeed Northern England during the coming decade and beyond.
The programme is now available on Mixcloud to listen to anytime.