Coalport Incline – Ironbridge – Addendum 2021
Why the end of the gauge war didn’t standardise Britain’s railway
The Owencarrow Viaduct Accident in 1925. …
Refurb of world’s largest working mechanical signal box completes
QUEENSLAND: RAILWAY FUEL TANKERS
PETRIE CREEK (CLARK'S) LIFT BRIDGE
Kingston-Portage aboard VIA, 1982 - Part 2
A Steam Tram at Heywood, Middleton, Manchester (UK)
Cook Pots and Cabooses
VIA 1405 Derails at Illecillewaet
I am indebted to Alan Young for a number of the images in these articles about the Micklehurst Loop. This is his drawing of the Loop which appears at the head of his article about the Loop on the Disused Stations website. It is used with his kind permission, (c) Alan Young. 
During January 2021, my wife and I walked the majority of the length of the Micklehurst Loop from Stalybridge to Diggle. This was the goods relieving line for the main Stalybridge to Huddersfield railway line. It had been hoped to alleviate congestion by making the mainline into a 4-track railway but the geography mitigated against this and a route on the other side of the Tame Valley was chosen instead.
The maps used in this sequence of articles are predominantly 25″ OS Maps from 1896 through to 1922 and have been sourced from the National Library of Scotland.  There are a number of websites which focus on the Loop which are excellent. The sites concerned are noted immediately below and the relevant link can be found in the references section of this page or by clicking on the highlighted text here:
The first articles about the Micklehurst Loop can be found at:
The Micklehurst Loop – Part 1
The Micklehurst Loop – Part 2
The Micklehurst Loop – Part 3
There is a series of addenda to these articles which include additional material found or shared with me after the drafting of the relevant article. These can be found on the following links:
The Micklehurst Loop – Part 1A
The Micklehurst Loop – Part 1B
The Micklehurst Loop – Part 1C – Including Hartshead Power Station
The Micklehurst Loop – Part 1D – Some Miscellaneous Items relating to the area around the Staley and Millbrook Goods Yard.
The Micklehurst Loop – Part 3A
In my perambulations around the internet, I have also encountered a series of videos (on YouTube) which start from the Northern end of the line. 5 videos cover the length of the line in 2020 and a separate video covers some of the structures on the line. These videos are easily available on YouTube. This is the first  in the series:
Part 4 – Chew Valley Road, Greenfield to Diggle
We continue our journey travelling North from Chew Valley Road. The images immediately below appear at the end of the last article about the line which finished at Chew Valley Road. …………..
Man marking Ordnance Survey minor control revision point with an arrow on Chew Valley Road in Greenfield. The photograph looks Southeast along the Northern pavement of the road with the arch-bridge which carried the Micklehurst Loop visible in the background, (c) Manchester Libraries. 
Corner of Greenfield Conservative Club, converted to housing in 2019. The bridge visible carries the Micklehurst Loop line over Chew Valley Road. This view is also looking to the South east but on the opposite side of Chew Valley Road, (c) Manchester Libraries. 
Greenfield Viaduct. 
We finished the last length of the Micklehurst Loop at Chew Valley Road in Greenfield.
In concluding, we saw a couple of older postcard images of Greenfield Viaduct, the second of which looks along Chew Valley Road towards the Southeast, and a 21st century Google Streetview image of the point at which the Loop crossed Chew Valley Road.
Old Postcard Image looking past Wellington Mills and along Chew Valley Road to the Southeast. Greenfield Viaduct appears on the right side of the image, there is then a short section of embankment before the arched bridge over Chew Valley Road. Bentfield Mill sits behind the Viaduct. The line was on embankment to the Northeast of Chew Valley Road, to the left of this image. 
Chew Valley Road at the point where the Micklehurst Loop crossed the road by means of an arched bridge. The trees sit where the bridge abutments once sat! (Google Streetview.)
We get ready to set off on this last length of the Loop by looking at a few images of Chew Valley Road Bridge which I found on the “Greenfieldgoneby” Facebook group. 
The adjacent image looks from the Southeast along Chew Valley Road. 
The second image is taken from the same direction and a little closer to the bridge. The first was a winter-time shot, the second was taken in the summer. 
The third, below, is taken from the Northwest and shows the Conservative Club on the right side. 
This final image of the bridge before we begin our journey, is also taken from the Northwest, but from much closer to the bridge. 
An extract from the 25″ OS Maps from the early 20th Century. Chew Valley Road appears in the bottom left of the extract. 
Satellite image of approximately the same area in the 21st century (Google Maps).
Looking Northeast from Chew Valley Road in the 21st century along what would have been the line of the Micklehurst Loop (My Photograph – 25th January 2021)
Wellington Mills – the postcard above and the extract from the OS Mapping show Wellington Mills to the West of the railway in Greenfield. The mills were built in 1852 for Shaw, Son and Lees cotton Spinners who traded until 1858 and were succeeded by N. Broadbent and Sons. When Broadbent ceased trading the mills were left unused for 6 years (from 1932 to 1938). 1938 saw part of the buildings used as a general engineering works and in 1941 the rest of the premises were opened up with the installation of 362 looms by the fabric weaver B. Kershaw. 
The railway embankment between Chew Valley Road and Higher Arthurs has been regraded to tie in with surrounding land. (My photograph – 25th January 2021).
In the years up to 1946 the engineering section of the mill produced engine parts for bombers. It was then used for storage, first by the Navy and then by the British Wool Board. In 1946 the buildings and land were purchased by William Oddy. He transferred his woolen carding and mule spinning operations form Shipley to Greenfield. The Knoll Spinning Company was formed at this time. It seems that 362 looms were installed at this time. The company ceased trading in the 1990s and the mill again became vacant. 
The approach to Higher Arthurs in the 21st century – the original bridge has been removed. The railway embankment can be see rising ahead (My Photograph – January 2021).
Huddersfield Narrow Canal – along this stretch of the Loop the Canal is conspicuous by its absence. Having followed the Eastern valley side and hence having been very close to the Loop at times on the way up from Stalybridge, the Canal crossed both the Tame valley and the River Tame in the Friezland area. Through Greenfield and Uppermill it followed the line of the older mainline railway on the West side of the valley. The River Tame can just be made out in the Northwest corner of the map extract above running on the Southeast side of Frenches Dye Works. The Canal was on the northwest side of the Works.
Frenches Dye Works – Owen Ashmore, in The Industrial Archaeology of Northwest England, notes the existence of this Dye Works but as having been closed at the time of his survey – “At Frenches … is [the] site of [a] former Dye Works built on [the] site of [an] early 18C fulling mill.” [10: p130]
Our walk along the line of the Micklehurst Loop took us across Chew Valley Road and Higher Arthurs on 25th January 2021. Just to the north of Higher Arthurs, we had to choose between scrambling up the embankment face seen just beyond the dwarf wall which is all that is left of the abutment of the bridge which carried the Loop over the lane, or a short walk along Carr Lane to access the track-bed along the approved walking route. We chose the latter and joined the route of the old line a few tens of metres ahead of the steep track shown in the picture.
This slightly blurred image from the Saddleworthgoneby Facebook Group shows the bridge which carried the Loop over High Arthurs. A double-headed mineral train is travelling North on the Loop. The road in the foreground is Carr Lane. The photographer is not known. 
The old railway continued Northeast from Higher Arthurs curving gradually round towards a Northerly direction. At the time the map below was drawn, there was a footbridge carrying a footpath from Wellington Terrace across to Kinders Lane and Fur Lane Farm. This footbridge was a narrow blue-brick arched bridge. It remains in place in the 21st century. These next two pictures show it from track-bed level.
The footbridge is a two span blue-brick arch bridge. This picture is taken looking North toward Uppermill Station, (My photograph – 25th January 2021).
The footbridge again, this time looking South towards Greenfield, (Photograph taken by Jo Farnworth – 25th January 2021).
The track-bed continues to curve round towards the North.
The Micklehurst Loop track-bed approaching Uppermill Goods Yard, (My photograph – 25th January 2021).
An extract from the 25″ OS Mapping of the early 20th century. 
The same area on modern satellite imagery, (Google Maps). The encroachment of modern housing in significant.
The next map extract shows the immediate approach to what was Uppermill Goods Yard. The goods yard was protected on it southern boundary by another accommodation bridge which provided access to Ballgrove from Uppermill. On Google maps this bridge can be seen to carry Rush Hill Road.
This next extract from the 25″ OS Mapping shows the approach to Uppermill Goods Yard from the South. 
The same area as the map above, shown on modern satellite imagery. The site of the Goods Yard has been replaced by Uppermill Sports Club.
Northbound Goods approaching Rush Hill Road Bridge to the South of Uppermill Goods Yard. 
This image also appears on the ‘Disused Stations’ website, where Alan Young comments: “In the late 1940s a Leeds-bound goods train is seen from Rush Hill Road bridge approaching the goods station at Uppermill. The locomotive is Bowen-Cooke-designed ex-LNWR 7F 0-8-0, built at Crewe works in August 1896. Numbered 9020 by the LMS, and previously 2540 in LNWR ownership, she continued to work as British Railways No.49020 until October 1961 when she was withdrawn from 10A, Wigan Springs Branch shed, and cut up the same month at Crewe works – Photo by Jim Davenport.” 
A view from the East of Rush Hill Road as it crosses the line of the Micklehurst Loop – the blue brick parapets are almost hidden by summer vegetation, (Google Streetview).
Rush Hill Road Bridge Northern parapet taken from the Western end of the bridge, (Google Streetview).
Rush Hill Road Bridge was strengthened using and Armco Arch with stone backfill when the route of the line was turned into a linear walkway, This view looks forward into the former Uppermill Goods Yard, (My photograph – 25th January 2021).
Looking north along the route of the Micklehurst Loop from Rush Hill Road Bridge, (My photograph – 6th April 2021).