THE fires which ravaged moors above Saddleworth have solved a heartbreaking riddle for a distraught mother and her family.

Because when Janet Taylor’s parents died she erected a small handcrafted memorial plaque to their memory at the top of Alphin Pike last year.

Jack and Evelyn Davies from Ashton, were married for 58 years when Mr Davies died suddenly at 79.

Tragically, Mrs Davies had severe dementia, moved into a care home and lived for another six years until she died, aged 84.

But now in a bizarre twist, the plaque that went missing from spot they had chosen to mark her parents passing on the famed landmark has miraculously turned up.

Pensioner Mrs Taylor, a mother of three from Mossley, said: “We carried out searches of the area twice when the plaque first vanished.

“It was a truly heartbreaking. At the time it disappeared, we had loads of interest from walkers and residents in the surrounding area all eager to help find it.”

She went on: “However despite all the efforts nothing was found.

“But a few days ago, I mentioned to my partner, Alan Seabury, if the plaque would be uncovered now all the vegetation had been burned down.

“To my surprise and relief the unthinkable happened. When Alan went walking up Alphin for the first time since the fire he came across my plaque - rather sooty but intact - stuck in the ground.

“Alan walks weekly in the Saddleworth area along with two friends and they always had a look at the trig point.

“But this was the first time back to Alphin since the fire and they were amazed that the plaque had suddenly reappeared in the midst of all the devastation.

“The spot was chosen as my parents had links with the moors and, in particular, Alphin," Mrs Taylor explained.

"It was also a spot which could be seen from the upstairs of my house in Mossley and where every morning I could view on opening my bedroom curtains."

Mrs Taylor made a trip to visit the plaque in December with her daughter, and two grandsons.

"We placed some daffodils there for Christmas. All was in order and left intact.

"However, we made a further visit to the plaque and to our horror it was no longer there.”