We didn’t move yesterday, it was just too windy for comfort. Meg and I took a walk back up over the tunnels to the first airshaft in the afternoon.
Not very clear, but this is a huge mound of excavated material with the airshaft on top
It’s been levelled out on the top.
Looking south down the Tame Valley from the heap
Meg loved it up here, it’s rabbit heaven!
The footpath drops down past the white house below, which hasn’t always had mains water….
Meg tried to make friends with a foreign gentleman on the way down…
But the alpaca was having none. They’re quite aloof, aren’t they.
The three railway tunnels are side-by-side as they enter the hill, the latest twin-track bore swinging over the canal tunnel a little way in.
Diggle Railway Tunnels
The earliest of the disused tunnels is behind the brick building, the other is barely visible on the far right. You can just see a bit of the yellow height warning sign. This is the one used for maintenance, and can be driven through.
For the canal tunnel alone, assuming a nominal cross-section of around 10 feet by 10 feet, there was a massive 64,000 cubic yards of material to be removed. Some was raised and deposited around the airshafts, but an awful lot was dumped outside the entrances.
You’ll have to click then zoom to read it.
Less windy this morning, so we decided to start on the downhill run towards Staleybridge. With no schedule now we can take our time a bit more on this side.
First lock of the day, 32W
These first 9 locks are unusual in that both top and bottom ends have single gates. Also the paddle gear for both ground paddles is on the same side. So the lock can be worked without crossing over. What a good idea.
Mini aqueduct carries a stream over the tail of Lock 31W
Until Dobcross there is a fair separation between the canal and the river, giving great views up and down the wide valley
Old mills on the edge of Diggle
Looking up the valley….
….and looking down
A last look at the hills before the valley becomes more confined
We came under that lot!
We stopped for water and loo emptying at Wool Road just below Lock 24W.
Wool Road Transhipment Warehouse
Until the tunnel was finished, goods were transferred here to packhorse and cart for the arduous trip over Standedge to Marsden and the canal down to Huddersfield. There were even a couple of boats on the moorings here today.
The Trans-Pennine railway is always a presence alongside, and it crosses over on the spectacular Saddleworth Viaduct between Lime Kiln and Dungebooth (fine name!) Locks.
Saddleworth Railway Viaduct
Uppermill was our destination for today, and we pulled in on the offside visitor moorings above the car park. This side it’s a bit noisier from the road, but the moorings on the towpath are busier with pedestrians. Handier for the shops this side too.
Uppermill Visitor Moorings
To the east above the town on Alderman’s Hill there’s a memorial to those from Saddleworth who died in the two World Wars. I think we’ll have a walk up there in the morning. It promises some good views.
Memorial Obelisk on Alderman’s Hill
Locks 11, miles 1½