Knitters get in the swing...
THE LETTERS IN OUR photo might look as if they have been painted, but they haven’t – they were created by knitted squares woven together to cover the large, 4ft high letters.
Sited on the stone foundations of the original Barton Aqueduct, they have been created by Salford knitters to celebrate the Bridgewater Canal and the Barton Swing Aqueduct – hence the word ‘Swingiest’.
Comprised of more than 2,000 knitted and crocheted squares, they are based on the marks stonemasons chiselled into the canal stonework in order to be paid for their work, plus other patterns and shapes found along the canal.
“The original stone aqueduct was demolished in 1893 to make way for bigger ships on the Manchester Ship Canal and the Barton Swing Aqueduct was built to carry the Bridgewater Canal over the Ship Canal. The aqueduct was, and is, the world’s first and only bridge to swing open while keeping hold of its water,” said Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety. “We wanted to create a unique piece of art to capture people’s interest in the canal by bringing local people together to take a fresh look at their heritage and learn new skills.”
Artist and expert knitter Rachael Elwell created the patterns for the designs which were then knitted and crocheted by more than 70 women.
The project is part of Est. 1761, a programme of activities for local communities as the canal undergoes a £ 5.5 million restoration thanks to £3.6 million funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and contributions from Salford City Council and Peel Holdings. The recent knitting project received additional support from The Booth Charities.