Yesterday I was out with Crosby Rambling Club at Uppermill where I joined the ‘B’ party walk led by Ray. Leaving Uppermill we began the long climb to the obelisk on the hill high above the town. We followed paths and tracks passing Shaws and Knowl farm before the steep climb to the obelisk.
This is a memorial to the soldiers from the surrounding villages whom died in the two world wars.
Nearby is the rock formation known as Pots and Pans.
It was bitterly cold up on the moor and we did not linger for long and headed for Alderman’s Hill.
From the rocky outcrop at the summit we could look down on Dove Stone and Yeoman Hey Reservoirs where I had walked the previous week.
We followed the ridge high above the reservoirs before heading for Slades Rocks. We were walking directly into the strong northerly wind and although the temperature was just above freezing the wind chill factor made it seem well below zero.
From Slades Rocks we headed downhill past Slades Barn to meet the minor road close to the hamlet of Running Head.
At a junction we saw a statue placed there by the Lawton family who purchased Diggle New Mill in 1882.
The statue depicts Jephthah and his daughter whose story is told in the Old Testament, Judges, Chapter XI, verse 29.
We decided to follow the Pennine Bridleway rather than the road as it would be more interesting. But then we had a bit of excitement. We had to cross a stream. After the recent rain and snow it was fast and furious. The stepping stones looked slippery and some of them were under water. However, Ray our leader had a plan. He delved into his rucksack and produced a length of nylon rope.David volunteered to cross the stream with the rope and then tying it round his waist he anchored one end. Jimmy held the other end . With the rope as reassurance we all got safely across.
We walked into Diggle and the road to cross over the railway and canal to reach the start of the Standedge Tunnel and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. At a height of 640 feet above sea level the summit of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal is the highest stretch of canal in Britain. The Standedge Tunnel is 3.25 miles long and is the longest and deepest stretch of canal tunnel in the country.
It took 16 years to build using only gunpowder, picks and shovels. It was fully open in 1811 and was busy in the nineteenth century until the railway and motor lorry took away its trade.The last working boat passed through the tunnel in 1921.
Trade on the canal was by horse drawn narrow boats and to cut costs the tunnel had been built without a towpath and was very low. this caused delays. The boats were propelled along by men lying on their backs and walking along the roof of the tunnel. A process known as ‘legging it’. Meanwhile the boat horse was led over the hill.
All that remained for us was a gentle stroll along the towpath back to Uppermill passing under the impressive viaduct which spans the canal and river.
I had plenty of time for a pint of J W Lees bitter before catching the coach back home. We all had red cheeks. Was that the cold, or the alcohol?
Quite an exciting day, especially for a B walk.