Rochdale

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This article is about the English town. For other Rochdales see, Rochdale (disambiguation)

Template:GBdot Rochdale is a town in Greater Manchester in north-west England with a population of 94,000. It is the largest town in the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, and gets its name from its position on the River Roch at the edge of the Pennines. Rochdale is twinned with the towns of Bielefeld in Germany, Tourcoing in France and Sahiwal in Pakistan.

The borough's location as a crossroads to trade between east and west England saw the building of George Stephenson's Summit Rail Tunnel and the Rochdale Canal from Manchester to Yorkshire (re-opened in 2003 following years of neglect after an east-west motorway cut through it) supporting local textile industries of cotton, wool and silk.

The Manchester and Leeds railway opened a station serving the town, but the line passed about a mile south of the town centre. The station remains open though much reduced in size from its heyday. The town is to be served by an extension of the Manchester Metrolink system, but this scheme is currently in abeyance. The M62 motorway also passes to the south of the town.

Rochdale is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of the Co-operative movement. A museum now exists at Toad Lane, the site of the Rochdale Pioneers. Rochdale College, in Toronto, Canada, a co-operative housing and alternative education experiment, was named in honour of the town of Rochdale England, as a tribute to its historic importance for the co-operative movement.

This Co-operative movement, also includes the national supermarket chain, the Co-operative supermarket, which once started where the Town center Shopping Center was; a memorial of 3 Brass sheep, signifying the Lancashire traditions and beginnings of the Co-Op.

It has a fine Victorian Town Hall, finished in 1871. The original clock tower was destroyed by fire in 1883, and the present tower was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, 1887. The stained glass window, which is in the southernmost part of the building, was supposed to be one of Hitler's top-priority items for accquisition, should he win the war.

This town hall, is built directly next to the underground location, where the River Roch flows underneath the town.

The front of the town hall, has Gargoyles, as well as Golden Statues of Lions which have the emblems of Rochdale, Lancashire and Yorkshire on them. These are said to be a commemoration of the peace between the two counties, Rochdale being one of the towns helping in this plight.

The town hall is also home to the memorial for those who lost their lives during the war. It has 4 flags, and is dedicated to those whose memory will live on.

(Buildings of South Lancashire, C. Hartwell, 2004, p.595). Another famous local landmark is the 'Black Box,' or the Council offices and bus station, built in the mid 1970s.

Otherwise, it's known as the home town of the Free Trade orator and MP, John Bright, 1930s1960s singing star Gracie Fields, larger than life Liberal politician Cyril Smith , singer Lisa Stansfield, musicians Autechre and 10cc, and actress Anna Friel.de:Rochdale (Stadt)

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