Arthur Chappell

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OLDHAM TO UPPERMILL

 

One of my longest urban walks, in which I got carried away and walked from Hollinwood, through to Uppermill, via Oldham, covering about 15 miles.

 

I walked up Hollins Road, from the site of the Old Hollinwood Roxy, taking in the dangerous path by the busy motorway that tore right through some lovely green belt land here. Onto Hollins Road itself, the going gets easier and safer, though mostly passes ordinary housing. The Britannia Inn is a surprisingly old looking pub, a truly Elizabethan bar. Other pubs are named after birds, with a Lark In and a Falconerís Arms in close proximity to one another.

 

Getting through Oldham town centre itself, with its many standard any-city you care to name shops, the dreadful Spindles centre (an Arndale in all but name), passing the town Hall that commemorates its place as Winston Churchillís first political constituency, and you get onto Lees Road, passing the heart of Oldhamís mill industry, as you climb quite gradually into the Pennines.

 

Near Spring Hill, is a mill I worked at in the 1990ís, for a cheap tat gift making and distribution company? The Leebrook mill here once employed Annie Kenney, one of the first suffragettes to be imprisoned for acts of civil disobedience in the struggle for womenís emancipation and the right to vote.

 

Opposite the Mill, a small park by the Tame boasts of its Aesopian statues of a Fox and an Owl. The Fox is a large construction, staring at a large tree stump as if talking to the owl, which has sadly been torn down and removed or destroyed by vandals. Wires in the stump show that the owl was illuminated at night.

 

Lees Road eventually becomes one of several Oldham Roads, leading from Oldham, towards Uppermill. The path gradient becomes steeper now and the view increasingly pastoral. 

 

Buses turn sharply back on themselves when going to Greenfield, which has a railway station and line running close to the road, along with a canal, (The Huddersfield, (see my walk summary, UPPERMILL TO ASHTON). Going on towards Uppermill, deciding to leave Greenfield for the next venture, I walked on, passing several sheep that were sitting by the road. As a bus came along, visible in the distance, the sheep casually walked into the middle of the road to block its way until the bus bibbed its horn for them to move aside. It was a deliberate game I saw several more sheep playing over the course of the walk.

 

Uppermill is the hearty of Saddleworth, which is an area impossible to walk through without reflecting in sorrow of the (Brady / Hindley Moors Murders bodies being disposed of on the surrounding moors. Itís a lovely, unspoilt town, created from the cotton industry, and with several museums and tourist information points to see, along with the canal, - which I followed back to Ashton on my previous walk UPPERMILL TO ASHTON. The shops and teahouses here are mostly unique to the town, and there are only a few of the big High street stores and businesses seen in much of Manchester and Oldham.

 

 

 Map - http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&q=uppermill%20

 

 

 See other walks related pages here - http://arthurchappell.me.uk/walks.htm

 

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