Interesting things to know about the borough of Rochdale

Cooperative and proud: facts and information about the borough

  • A cotton loom machine from Littleborough was converted to weave fiberglass after the decline of the cotton industry. It went on to produce the molds that were used to make the Concorde airplanes’ nose cone.
  • Before the recent re-opening of the River Roch, Rochdale held the record for the world’s widest bridge. It stretched from the Lviv Bridge outside Number One Riverside in Smith Street to an opening in The Esplanade.
  • Britain’s first automatic tills were tested in Castleton in the early 1980s, before being installed nationally in Asda stores across the country.
  • Hollingworth Lake in Smithy Bridge covers 130 acres and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the North West.
  • Ian Simpson, the architect of the ‘Beetham Tower’ in Manchester (described as the UK’s first proper skyscraper outside London), is from Heywood.
  • On 10 September 1927, Rochdale Council employed a deep sea diver to repair a large gas holder at the Rochdale Corporation Gas Works.
  • On August 13 1994, the Co-Operative broke the world record for cooking the largest pancake, marking their 150th anniversary in their hometown, Rochdale.
  • Rochdale has the highest concentration of canal locks in the north; it houses 91 locks over 32 miles. The highest concentrated area of locks is in Littleborough.
  • Rochdale has 10 green flag parks, including Rochdale Memorial Gardens, Truffet Park, Hare Hill Park, Broadfield Park, Queens Park and Milnrow Memorial Park. Parks and open spaces.
  • Rochdale is twinned with Lviv in Ukraine, Bielefeld in Germany, Sahiwal in Pakistan and Tourcoing in France.
  • Sir Peter Ogden, one of the founders of Computacenter, was born in Rochdale and attended Rochdale Grammar.
  • The Baum pub in Toad Lane was crowned Britain’s best pub in 2013. The pub and the area around it takes its name from a legend that says the ghost of a white rabbit called the Baum Rabbit haunted the neighbourhood.
  • The tower blocks that overlook Rochdale are referred to as the 'Seven Sisters' and are built on an area once known as the Paddock. Despite its attractive sounding name, the area was a slum and the towers were built to re-house the people who lived there in dreadful conditions.