Saturday 9th November 2013
|Hollingworth Lake in summer|
The popularity of the lake as a resort declined in the early twentieth century, and the area was used as an army camp during the First World War. The canal company sold the reservoir, with seven others, to the Oldham and Rochdale Corporations for water supply in 1923, by which time the canal was in terminal decline. After the Second World War, boating rights were bought by Rochdale Council, who developed the area into the Hollingworth Lake Country Park in 1974. There has been a steady increase in facilities since, and it is now a thriving centre for water sports and other activities.
The lake was used for training by Captain Matthew Webb, before he became the first man to swim the English Channel in 1875, and was used for the "World Professional Mile Championship", a long-distance swimming event, in the 1880s. It is home to the Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club, which has been in continuous existence since 1872.