Macclesfield Express - - WHAT’S ON - COLIN PARK

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

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