‘The worst thing about Saddleworth is that its Yorkshire roots are not recognised’, claims one pensioner.

As the inaugural Saddleworth Steam Fest drew to a close at the weekend, The Oldham Times took to the streets of Uppermill to find out what residents thought about the area.

Andrea Waterhouse, a 62-year-old pensioner, said: “There’s still very much a community here, there’s always something going on like the steam festival.

“I think the worst thing is that it used to be in Yorkshire, then Lancashire and now Greater Manchester. It’s controlled by Oldham Council who forget about Saddleworth – they don’t give it the recognition it deserves.

“So, the worst thing for me is that it used to be Yorkshire and our roots are not recognised.”

Andrea continued: “Another thing would be that they need to reinstate Diggle Train Station.

"Diggle has had an influx of properties and they need the infrastructure to match it.

“The traffic in Uppermill going up and down is horrendous so it would help ease the pressure and there’s no reason why they couldn’t put another train station there, it’s all ready to go.”

Traffic running through the village was the main concern in the town, shared by Paul and Jacqui Renshaw, aged 77 and 75 respectively, who caught a “rare” parking spot outside Saddleworth Museum when they bumped into their granddaughter Evie Driffield.

“It’s absolutely chocka at the weekend because of tourism but Saddleworth is really on the doorstep to everywhere, it’s beautiful,” Paul said.

“When we lost Franky’s Fine Buys everyone was so saddened – if you wanted any good quality nick-nacks that was the place to go.

“We do still have good schools, and good places to eat but there are too many cafes – far too many, there are at least a dozen just in Uppermill.”

Jacqui joked: “I’m not saying anymore because I don’t want more and more people to come!

“We live down the road and it’s not often that we would tend to come to Uppermill because parking is awful, it’s very busy all the time so we usually have to go to the swimming baths to find a space.”

While Evie, 16, added: “There’s not a lot to do around here for teenagers.”

Three of those tourists visiting Saddleworth were Glossop’s Paul and Lindsey Roden, both aged 58, and their four-legged companion Bonnie.

The Oldham Times: Paul and Lindsey Roden, with two-year-old pooch Bonnie

The trio were visiting Uppermill for the day and try to visit Saddleworth once a month.

“It’s a beautiful area, we come over here for the countryside and Dovestones is wonderful - it’s so busy, everyone goes there,” said Paul.


“We like to come about once a month, it’s a bit of a drive but it’s worthwhile - the canal is beautiful also, we just love Uppermill so there are no negatives from us,” added Lindsey.

The Oldham Times: Ed MiddletonEd Middleton (Image: Newsquest)

Since opening her gift store on High Street in 2017, 56-year-old Esther Morrish, of My Plum Tree, told The Oldham Times that she has not experienced anti-social behaviour in the village she described as “just a happy place”.

Meanwhile, Ed Middleton, a 49-year-old Saddleworth man who runs a training business, added: “The best thing is the countryside the worst thing is the train because it’s always cancelled.

"You turn up because it says it’s going to go and it never does – or rarely does anyway!”