7 August 2016

Saddleworth

Forever tainted in the national consciousness, Saddleworth is an area of barren moorland between Holmfirth in Yorkshire and Diggle in Lancashire. It was here in the early nineteen sixties that notorious murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley brought at least five children under false pretences. Sadistic Brady slit their throats or strangled them and with Hindley's help buried them. 
Hindley died in prison in 2002 but at the age of 78, Brady still hangs on to life at Ashworth Psychiatric Hospital near Liverpool. He has served more time than any other living British prisoner. If you want to read more about The Moors Murderers, go here.
Phew! I am pleased to get that nasty stuff out of the way. It is a shame that such an awful shadow hangs over the area because Saddleworth is actually a wild and beautiful place - especially at its edges where it begins to mingle with human settlements and where various reservoirs were constructed a hundred years ago or more to serve the domestic and industrial needs of Manchester, Oldham, Bradford and Huddersfield.
Yesterday, with the promise of good weather, I tootled up to Holmfirth and drove over Saddleworth Moor to Dove Stone Reservoir. There I parked and donned my boots before setting off on a rather glorious and strenuous walk in unfamiliar territory.  The five images I have included with this post provide you with a sense of what this latest walk was like.
Afterwards, happily exhausted, I drove home via Stalybridge, Mottram and The Snake Pass. Crossing the threshold of our house just before seven o' clock, I was delighted to discover that Shirley had prepared a nice meal of new potatoes, quiche and salad. We ate it out on our decking in lovely evening sunshine.

23 comments:

  1. I've read enough about the Moor murders and the evil perpetrators...I need read no more about them...waste no further precious time on the despicable monsters.

    That place, to me, I'm sure would give me a very eerie feeling and it is a place I'd not wish to visit.

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    1. You'd be safe walking with me Lee. I rarely carry a knife or rope and the spade in the back of my car is only there in case of snow. Honest.

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  2. Lovely photos! You are seeing it at the best time of year. Please go back in midwinter and take some pics then. (I was born in Holmfirth and miss those wild moors). Now living in Perth.

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    1. Are you living in the real Perth - up in Scotland or the pretend one in Western Australia? Butterworth is a lovely old Yorkshire name but I hope you are worth more than a pack of butter Margaret.

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    2. In Australia! So many towns here are named in honour of their English originals e.g. Scarborough, Guildford, York. At first, I didn't like it at all, but now I see it as a tribute to those places "back home".

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    3. Crossing t'moor on a cold, wet and windy night is a grim experience, whether you know about it's history or not. Wouldn't like to break down up there!

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  3. Beautiful spot. You find the most wonderful places to walk!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer. The moorland cross in the first picture was erected on the spot where the local Member of Parliament was killed in a shooting accident back in 1857.

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  4. I have never read of the Moor Murders, Mr. Pudding. I will do that someday when I am already in a murderous mood! The photos are beautiful. But, you know, I am a sucker for beautiful rivers and wild places. I was just thinking that you have mostly lovely days when you take us for walks. You must have wonderful weather forecaster persons over there!

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    1. I am quite choosy about my walking days. I try to avoid grey skies and rain if the weather people say that is what's coming. Hence, I have probably given you a false impression of our typical weather.

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  5. my dad used to take me here back in the 60s , he was also one of the ghouls who picniced outside the house they killed in . He was a very strange bloke

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    1. I am sorry that your father has left you with such recollections Kate.

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  6. This is a beautiful wild area. Each area has a long history and this one includes some horrendous crime.

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    1. Red is the colour of blood Red.

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  7. Dramatic scenery, it looks rather a lonely place.

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    1. Considering how many thousands of people live within twenty minutes of this place... yes it is rather bleak.

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  8. Beautiful photos, YP, but given the tragic association, it looks somewhat desolate.

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  9. Great pictures, thank you!
    I doubt there are all that many places left on this planet where not, at some stage in the past, terrible things have happened. I am glad you did not avoid going there - it's too beautiful an area, and not "its fault" for what has happened there.

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    1. There are maps to show interested people where the bodies of the children were found but the locations were two or three miles back over the moors to Yorkshire. All of that happened more than fifty years ago.

      By the way, you would have loved the ruined shooting cabin - Bramley's Cot - shown in my fourth picture.

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  10. The mention of the Snake Pass reminds me of many journeys I made half a century ago or more when the pass seemed to spend most of the winter closed. Of course that was in the days before motorway congestion became the principal topic of traffic reports.

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    1. Graham - Sheffielders who live in the south and west of our city are still rather obsessed about The Snake Pass as it is our most direct link with Manchester. We all have stories about it. Earlier this year, returning from a football match, I had to turn around at Snake Pass Summit because of black ice. Three other cars had skidded off the road and one had overturned.

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  11. Beautiful scenery! I can't wait to get back to England. I miss it.

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