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IT'S LATE FEBRUARY 2001 AND I'M OUT AND ABOUT in Saddleworth, the Yorkshire district on the Lancashire side of the Pennines, just 20 minutes train ride from Manchester. Saddleworth is strikingly different in character to other parts of Greater Manchester. This is due to its strong Yorkshire heritage which in 1973/4 was compromised when Saddleworth was taken over by its Lancashire neighbour Oldham, as part of a sweeping reorganisation of local government.

Unacknowledged on today's maps, the ancient county boundary runs just one and a half miles (2.5km) east of Oldham town centre, and 8 miles (13km) north east of Manchester. Modern signs have been put up, and 19th century boundary stones have been defaced (see picture right) in order to conceal the fact that Saddleworth is historically, geographically and culturally part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Read the upcoming feature (in preparation) for more on this.

With the dedication of a Victorian travelling photographer, filled with a desire to provide my readers with the most stunning views of the locality, I struggled up to the top of Pots & Pans, the hill above Uppermill Saddleworth, taking my extensive photographic apparel with me (actually, nothing more than my Nikon Coolpix compact digital camera which I squeeze into a bum bag, together with my screw-on zoom lens in my pocket - no tripod). Once I'd caught my breath, these are the views I captured. They serve as an introduction to the often charming, sometimes bleak, but certainly picturesque district of Saddleworth - Full feature coming shortly.

POTS AND PANS is the site of a war memorial which was put up in 1923 in memory of local men killed in the first world war.

The origin of the name isn't clear, though it may have something to do with the shape of the hill.

A bench was added in 1993 - it looks out over one of the most spectacular views in the Manchester area.

WE ARE LOOKING SOUTH WEST from Pots & Pans, Saddleworth, towards Manchester over the top of Quick Edge, near Mossley. The monument Hartshead Pike stands on the hilltop to the left. Over to the right of the picture Manchester city centre is visible 11 miles (17km) away. The blocks of flats over to the far right are in Salford, and on the horizon we can see Fiddlers Ferry power station 32 miles (51km) away.

The ancient county boundary between Lancashire and Yorkshire, also the line of the recent Tameside MBC/Oldham MBC border, runs across the middle of Quick Edge, crossing the A670 Mossley Road just to the left of the red-roofed houses in the centre of the picture.

WE ARE LOOKING NORTH WEST from Pots & Pans stone towards Winter Hill.

This typically north country moorland scene is just 12 miles (20km) north east of Manchester city centre.

On the other side of High Moor Saddleworth, rising towards the right of the picture, are the Oldham suburbs of Moorside and Sholver.

Crossing the picture is the A62 from Oldham to Huddersfield.

THIS SECTION OF A PANORAMA shows the view from Pots and Pans, Saddleworth, encompassing about 90 degrees - south is on the left, west is on the right.

Mossley, just beyond the southern boundary of Saddleworth, is situated along the Tame valley on the left. Uppermill, Saddleworth's main town, is down on the right.

The river Tame flows south through Saddleworth, followed closely by the Huddersfield Canal and the Manchester to Huddersfield railway line.

A television transmitter sits on top of the hill the centre right of the picture. Beyond this hill is the town of Oldham.

WE ARE LOOKING FROM POTS & PANS down into the valley of the Tame. The Uppermill railway viaduct is visible in the bottom of the picture. A transpennine express diesel train is just crossing, on its way to Huddersfield and beyond.

Saddleworth viaduct dates from 1849, not 1949 as is stated in Oldham MBC's tourist literature for the area.

In the upper right is the hillside village of Dobcross, and at the top, we can just see the street lights of the A62 Huddersfield Road near Delph.

This quintessentially Yorkshire scene is just 11 miles (17km) north east of Manchester city centre, and exactly half way between Manchester and Huddersfield.

THE EYEWITNESS IN MANCHESTER feature on Saddleworth will continue shortly.

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