WALK Ė OLDHAM TO DELPH
A picturesque Tameside village, with picture postcard housing and some lovely shops, pubs, etc, set against the backdrop of the Pennine hills and Saddleworth moor. The street scan be very busy though and many busses from Oldham terminate here.
The name Delph derives from the quarrying of bakestone in the region, (used in cooking where the heated stone would be used for making bread and cakes. The village hosts several brass band contests through the year, especially at Whitsuntide. Delph featured in the films, The Parole Officer and Brassed Off.
There are only five pubs in Delph itself, the best being the Old Bell Hotel by the Tame. The most remote is the 18th Century Royal Oak, which accessible by walking up a steep narrow set of country lanes.
I walked into Delph from Oldham, going through Waterhead, Watershedings, & Austerlands, with several pubs, including the darkly named Waterhead inn, The Carrion Crow, and past the Austerlands Chimney, a mill chimney left standing long after the rest of the mill has been demolished. A nearby war memorial is almost hidden behind shrubbery, and easily overlooked.
I reached a lovely church, St. Paulís that was open, so I decided to explore within, to find it was now no longer a church but a corporate function hall, though they do civic weddings there. This struck me as odd, after all, why have a non-religious wedding in a church? The staffs were very friendly, and tried to find someone to give me a tour of the property. I found them more evangelical than any church ministry, and left.
I was saddened to see a familiar pub, The Cross Keys, is now a Chinese restaurant, though the Crossed Keys inn sign is still in place.
From Delph, I arced round through Dobcross, and its old looking, Shambles bar, and into Uppermill, where my walk ended.
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