JOIN the Bury Times as we travel back 50 years to the headlines on July 12, 1969, when fishing on the Irwell, a goat in custody and bypass developments were the talk of the town. BRAD MARSHALL takes a look back in the archives...

ANGLERS could soon be fishing on stretches of the River Irwell thanks to fewer mills and less pollution.

Recent expert reports on the river's condition have been so encouraging that plans to stock and fish local sections of the water are now being seriously considered.

Fishing rights along parts of the river have now been acquired from Bury Corporation by the Bury and District Angling Association who are soon to meet to discuss the developments.

Their first move, association secretary Frank Booth said yesterday, will be to place traps containing fish into the river and check on their condition after six to eight days.

"If this experiment is satisfactory, we will go ahead with plans to stock the water," he added.

Five years ago the River Board told the association it would be at least 20 years before local sections of the Irwell would be clear enough to fish.

But, said Mr Booth: "Conditions have improved a great deal since then and we are now very hopeful.

"Some riverside mills up the valley have closed and this has led to less pollution.

"We know there are already fish in the river. Roach, gudgeon and minnow have been caught, some in the Bury Bridge area."

OFFICERS faced a problem not in any police manual on Wednesday ­— how to milk a goat.

But the long arm of the law was not to be daunted and shortly there were PC pintas to the extent of half a bucketful.

The escapade happened at Bury Police Station after a goat had been "arrested" while trying to muscle into a game of cricket at Bury Grammar School following an escape from her owner.

After several hours at the station she was retrieved by 17-year-old Thomas Brooks of Bullfinch Drive, who had just bought her.

The nanny goat was then taken home to an an allotment in Bolton Road, Bury.

TRAFFIC has taken a detour as workmen start on the final link-up operations on the new town centre bypass road.

The second phase of the Angouleme Way section has opened for temporary use as work nears completion on Rochdale Road.

Vehicles travelling between The Rock and Rochdale Road are being diverted onto the roundabout and around the rear of the Shakespeare Hotel, rejoining near Princess Street.

If operations continue smoothly the whole of the £200,000 second section of the bypass should be in use in a month's time.