Click on any of the photographs for an enlarged view
Heading north from Stalybridge the landscape is open, but still with industrial architecture, such as an electricity pylon that straddles the new canal section below lock 8. Soon the scenery is totally rural. Low water levels below lock 11 (picture 3 below) caused problems for the steel boats, but not for our Wilderness Beaver boat. In other places the water level was too high (Summer 2001) and it was pouring over the lock gates. The final picture in this series shows Scout Tunnel in the distance, often described as a miniature Standedge Tunnel. The tunnel is 615 feet long, has both lined and unlined sections and a towpath running through it.
Sharing locks helps considerably to conserve water, as at Mossley in picture 1 below. Uppermill, (pictures 2, 3 and 4) is the main village. A new, short tunnel takes the canal under the main road. Because of the proximity to the road the canal gear has had to be adapted. No room here for large wooden beams! Uppermill is worth exploring and there are moorings in the village. Uppermill has craft shops, several pubs and cafes and is home to the Saddleworth Museum. The museum and art gallery depicts landscape, transport and industry of the area.
The canal soon passes under the impressive Saddleworth Viaduct. Uppermill village is in the distance. The Brownhill Countryside Centre (canal side) is well worth a visit as is the wildflower garden - pictures below.
Bottom left is the Transshipment Shed at Wool Road Wharf, Dobcross. This is (summer 2001) the only water, refuse and toilet emptying point between Ashton and Standedge Tunnel. Goods were unloaded here from the boats to horses, prior to Standedge Tunnel being opened. Unless you're travelling through Standedge Tunnel this is journey's end. In an effort to conserve water, only boats using the tunnel are allowed to enter the five locks of the Diggle flight.