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Swinton heritage trail launched

History fans are being urged to put their best foot forward and take a walk through time in Swinton.

Eleven locations which mark significant points in the town’s history have been marked with bronze plaques.

The idea for the trail came from the Swinton Heritage task group, with support from Salford City Council, Swinton and Pendlebury Local History Society, Swinton Lions and other individuals interested in Swinton’s history.

Funding for the trail – £13,500 – came from Section 106 funding secured from the Asda development in Swinton town centre.

Among the plaques is one marking the site of the Clifton Hall railway tunnel collapse in 1953 which claimed five lives. The railway, linking Patricroft with Bury was built in 1850 but passenger numbers soon dried up and it was only used by local collieries.

Inspectors noticed brickwork in the tunnel was beginning to collapse but before it could be fully repaired it collapsed taking with it two houses in Temple Drive above and killing five residents – Fred Potter, 87 and his wife Clara, 73 and neighbours Sarah Salt, 45 and her daughters Emily, 45, and Jean, 28.

Other places on the trail include: Swinton Industrial School built to educate ‘pauper’ children and once visited by Charles Dickens, the White Lion pub, St Augustine’s Church known as the miners’ cathedral; Station Road rugby ground, the home of Swinton Rugby League club from 1929 and 1992; Victoria Park; Swinton Public Gardens Chorley Road; St Peter’s Church; Swinton Hall (Swinton Hall Road; Unitarian Church and Chorley Road rugby ground, the original home of Swinton Rugby League club.

The Heritage Task Group is now planning to install a notice board in the town centre with a map of the trail and create a website about the trail.

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SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.