EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS
I CHOSE the centre of Oldham for an unlikely start point of a recent 13-mile linear walk to Newhey.
Avoiding as far as possible built-up areas, the 12 members of East Cheshire Ramblers set out by walking first through Alexandra Park.
This ornate park with many features including an observatory and a heated conservatory, was constructed between 1863 and 1865 to provide employment to local textile workers during the Lancashire Cotton Famine, that was brought about by a dramatic fall in raw cotton supply during the American Civil War.
Heading north, the walk continued over Oldham Edge, a wooded ridge stretching towards Royton. Pausing in this town, the group briefly stopped to view the display board and site of the medieval Royton Hall, which was once home to generations of the Byron family, and later, its park was the site of Royton cotton spinning mill.
On a day of frequent wintery showers the group were keen to find a stopping point out of the wind for lunch and this was found in the sheltered woodland at Tandle Hill Country Park.
The nearby hilltop is crowned by a slender obelisk of Portland Stone and this war memorial commemorates the men of Royton who died during WW1.
Parts of the Oldham Way and Rochdale Way were next followed via the former Jubilee Colliery site, now a nature reserve, to reach Ogden Reservoir.
The reservoir was commissioned in 1878, collecting water from Piethorne Brook and Wickenhall Brook to provide drinking water for Oldham.
Ascending over higher ground into an icy head wind, the group finally descended to Newhey tram stop for the return journey to Oldham.
For more details of East Cheshire Ramblers’ programme of weekend and midweek winter walks go to ramblers eastcheshire.org.uk.
●» East Cheshire Ramblers stride out into an icy head wind on the walk back to Newhey