Rochdale Line

Over the coming months we'll be updating this page with details of the stops along the Rochdale line; information about the groups creating the tracks for each stop, interesting facts,  media and snippets of information as the project progresses. Be sure to check back on Monday 17 July, when we will be uploading recordings of each full track. 

Rochdale Town Centre | Rochdale Railway Station | Newbold | Kingsway Business Park | Milnrow | Newhey

Rochdale Town Centre - Cantare Ladies Choir

The choir was originally founded in 1982 as the Debrose Choir. In 2009, we changed our name to Cantare. The choir includes women of all ages and from all walks of life – no superstars, just people who love to sing and who want to do it well. Our repertoire is exciting and wide ranging, from pop standards and songs from the shows, to classical and contemporary choral pieces. We enjoy a challenge, strive to make a great sound and have a brilliant time whilst we’re doing it. We perform regularly at concerts and other events throughout the year. 

About the track

We Sing of Rochdale is a song that captures elements of Rochdale’s past, present and future. It celebrates the great achievements of the town and area including the birth of the co-operative movement, singer Gracie Fields and its famed Town Hall. It also acknowledges the town has fallen on hard times in recent years and the stories emerging from the area have not painted it in a good light. However with on-going regeneration, and the will of the people in the borough, the town is on the up again and will ‘rise like a phoenix’.

Rochdale Railway Station - Caro C

Caro C is a Manchester-based artist, engineer and facilitator in sound. An artist that dares to be rare and enjoys capturing and sculpting sonic stories. She mainly uses technology and her voice to communicate human-ness. Caro really enjoys creating these context specific sound poems which act as a kind of social documentary, uncovering the magic in the mundane and turning unscripted anecdotes into poetry.

About the track

Caro has created a sound and word scape using sound recordings made on the tram journey from Chorlton to Rochdale Railway Station, and interviews recorded on the tram stop platform. 

Newbold - Commission by Jaydev

About the track

I started off by making the tram journey a couple of times in order to absorb the atmosphere and gauge a sense of time and place. Also, these rides on this particular journey gave me a sense of the sonic collage that was surrounding me.

During these trips I was reminded of a piece of music I first heard in the early 80s by the renowned tabla Ustad Abdul Satter Khan. Khans Piece is simply named 'Tabla Train'. I also met with Councillor Daalat Ali, Daalat is a cabinet member for Planning and Development and lives in Newbold. Daalat gave me a tour of the area the Newbold

stop serves and spoke at great length of how the tram system has benefited the area by improving business and community links.

Kingsway Business Park - Rochdale Fanfare Team

The group is made up of seven young people aged 11 – 16 playing a full set of military fanfare trumpets. The group members also play in Brass Band and Wind Band.

About the track

This fanfare (a ceremonial overture on brass) was created by Aidan Jolly, working with the young members of the Rochdale Fanfare. We began by improvising around rhythms based on local names, including the Kingsway Business Park tram stop. We then built on this by improvising melodies, chords, and harmonies. Aidan took this material and returned with two fanfares called Kingsway 1 and Kingsway 2.

Milnrow - That’s All Folk

A traditional Folk group including a range of ages and abilities. The group have played at NUT conferences, Music For Youth in Birmingham, Chester Folk Festival, and Todmorden Folk Festival.

Newhey - by Andrew Butler

My name is Andrew Butler and I'm a musician from Oldham. I'm a member of Dr Butler's Hatstand Medicine Band and The Beulah String Band. At the present time much of my focus has been on the musical traditions of the antebellum and postbellum periods of American history and the corresponding periods in the British Isles.

About the track

'The River Beal' By Andrew Butler
5-String Banjo and Jews-Harp

I came to the Tram Tracks project quite late in the day so I decided that the best way for me to get some inspiration would be to take a little day trip to Newhey and have a look around. From Derker onwards the River Beal runs alongside much of the Metrolink line all the way to Newhey and beyond so I thought it would be a good idea to find a nice spot on the riverbank. I had my banjo with me so I thought I'd play it a little, with the sound of the river and the occasional tram rushing by. I came up with most of the tune there and then. The third section, which contains a series of pull-offs, is my imitation of the sound of a tram. As I was sat there on that sunny morning a chap came walking passed me with his dog. He spied my banjo and said "Thall not catch much with that" and then carried on. I'm playing my banjo in a Clawhammer style and I have it tuned down to a double A tuning. To accompany it I'm playing a Jews-Harp, one of my favourite instruments.

  • Rochdale Line