Geograph Blog ::

Walker Fold to Godley Hill

By Gerald England

SJ9594 : Painted Cockerel by Gerald England This is one of several National Cycle Network Mileposts placed by Sustrans on the former Godley Junction to Apethorn railway line section of the Trans Pennine Trial and National Cycle Route 62. This one is of "The Cockerel" design by Iain McColl. When I photographed it in 2014 SJ9594 : Sustrans Signpost near Donald Avenue by Gerald England it hadn't been painted. I understand that pupils from a local school helped to choose the colours used.

SJ9594 : Riders on the Trans Pennine Trail by Gerald England A group of riders on the Trans Pennine Trail just west of Green Lane.

SJ9694 : Green Lane footpath junction by Gerald England After passing under Green Lane bridge the Trans Pennine Trail leaves the route of the former Apethorn to Godley railway line to follow Green Lane via the path behind the photographer.

The wooden finger post on the right points out the route. It has been foreshortened since 2007 SJ9694 : Trans-Pennine Trail by Gerald England. A pair of notices on the left give information about the trail and carry a warning about the use of unauthorised motor vehicles.

A footpath to the right continues to follow the old railway track for about another mile past an old turntable bed and over Brookfold Lane until it is blocked off just before the junction with the main railway line at Godley.

SJ9694 : Former Godley Junction to Apethorn railway line by Gerald England Approaching the footpath junction at Green Lane from Godley. In the undergrowth on the left are some moss covered concrete posts left over from when the railway was still operative.

SJ9694 : Moss on concrete by Gerald England I'm not sure what their original purpose was. It has been suggested that the brackets could have carried troughing for cabling.

SJ9694 : Approaching the Godley Turntable by Gerald England Approaching the Godley Turntable.

SJ9694 : Behind the Godley Turntable by Gerald England Godley Turntable is where trains heading for Fiddler's Ferry power station via Warrington Arpley would exchange locomotives. The whole point of the Cheshire Lines railway from Godley Junction to Apethorn was to carry Yorkshire coal to Lancashire for burning in one way or another.

SJ9694 : Godley Turntable by Gerald England Originally the trains were steam hauled but after electrification of the Woodhead line in the 1950s the class 76 electric locos would draw the train onto the branch and un-couple before running around and departing; subsequently, a diesel loco would appear and hook-on for the remainder of the trip. Freight services over Woodhead ended in 1981 and this line became redundant.

SJ9694 : Godley Turntable by Gerald England For many years the old turntable has been almost completely hidden by undergrowth. Early in 2015 a team of volunteers cleared out the area to reveal the turntable pit.

SJ9694 : Godley Turntable by Gerald England For views of the turntable in action see Old Hyde: LinkExternal link

SJ9694 : Sustrans Milepost at Godley by Gerald England A National Cycle Network Milepost of the "Fossil Tree" design has been placed by Sustrans near the Godley Turntable..

Why here?

The National Cycle Network Route 62 leaves the trackbed of the former Godley Junction to Apethorn railway at Green Lane. The footpath east from here leads over Brookfold Bridge and comes to a dead end where it meets the Glossop line at Godley East. The only way off is by scrambling precariously down the side of Brookfold Bridge, not something to be done lightly especially carrying a bicycle.

SJ9694 : View along the old track by Gerald England Looking along the line of the former Cheshire Lines railway from Godley Junction to Apethorn just west of Brookfold Bridge. On the left behind the trees was a turntable where trains heading from the Yorkshire coalfields for Fiddler's Ferry power station would exchange locomotives.

On the right is a National Cycle Network Milepost which appears misplaced as route 62 and the Trans Pennine Trail isn't reached until Green Lane and there is no proper access from this side.

SJ9694 : Brookfold Farm by Gerald England Brookfold Farm viewed from the bridge over Brookfold Lane. Brookfold Wood on the left hides the Manchester to Glossop railway line through Hattersley.

SJ9694 : Godley Junction by Gerald England The view through the metal fence at the end of the Godley Junction to Apethorn railway line at what was once the Godley Junction marshalling yard and the former trackbed which leads to the mainline from Manchester to Glossop.

See how the area looked in its heyday on Old Hyde: LinkExternal link

SJ9694 : Old platform at Godley Junction by Gerald England The remains of the platform at Godley Junction serving the Cheshire Lines track to Apethorn, Stockport Tiviot Dale and beyond. The main purpose of the line was to carry Yorkshire coal to power stations in Lancashire such as Fiddler's Ferry so very few passenger trains used the line. One that did though was an overnight express from Marylebone to Liverpool.

SJ9694 : Pond at Godley East by Gerald England Below the embankment of the former Godley Junction to Apethorn railway line a pond is visible in the field below.

SJ9694 : Brookfold Lane from Brookfold Bridge by Gerald England Looking down Brookfold Lane from the top of Brookfold Bridge. A wooden fence has been erected along the side of the embankment and some of the undergrowth has been cleared away. It remains a rather precarious descent from the former railway track except for the more sure-footed of people and it is not an official right of way.

SJ9694 : Brookfold Bridge by Gerald England Brookfold Bridge carried the Godley Junction to Apethorn railway line over Brookfold Lane. The old trackbed is now a footpath but this section is not part of the Trans Pennine Trail. Access to the trail westwards is best made via Firethorn Drive SJ9694 : Firethorn Drive, Godley by John Topping and a squeeze stile SJ9694 : A Tight Squeeze by Gerald England. Access southwards is best made by carrying on up the lane and through a gate SJ9694 : Gate to Green Lane by Gerald England on to a track that leads to Green Lane. Climbing up the side of the bridge is not recommended.

SJ9694 : Footpath to Station Road by Gerald England A footpath leads from Brookfold Lane to Station Road. Alas there appears to be no footbridge over the Godley Brook.

SJ9694 : Grazing land off Station Road, Godley by Gerald England In the foreground is the Godley Brook emerging from underneath the embankment of the former Godley Junction to Apethorn railway line. In the background is the Kerry Foods (formerly Walls) factory at Godley Hill.

SJ9694 : Footpath to Brookfold Lane by Gerald England The fields behind the electricity substation on Station Road, Godley are grazing land. A footpath leads to Brookfold Lane, although there appears to be no footbridge over the Godley Brook.

SJ9694 : Kerry Way by Gerald England Kerry Way is a new road opened in 2014 to access the Kerry Foods factory. It will eventually lead to a new light industrial area being created on land at Hattersley, but for now there is access only as far as a farm.

This used to be the Walls sausage factory until it was taken over by Kerry Foods in 1994. The main operations at the site include the processing and packaging of pork and bacon products such as sausage and sliced bacon, white meat products such as turkey rashers and distribution of some 700 tonnes of food products each week.

SJ9694 : Godley Hill Road by Gerald England The top of Godley Hill Road leading from the Kerry Foods factory has been reduced to a footpath following the construction last year of a new road, Kerry Way, which can be seen on the other side of the fence.

SJ9694 : Godley Hill Road by Gerald England Looking back towards Kerry Foods.

SJ9694 : Godley Hill War Memorial by Gerald England The War Memorial at Godley Hill, unveiled in 1920, is a small obelisk made of granite in the centre of a circular flower bed. The area is surrounded by a low wall. Access is through small metal gates, both of which bear the date 1953 (possibly because they were placed there for the Coronation of Elizabeth II). In front of the memorial, on the flower bed, is a cube-shaped white receptacle for holding flowers bearing the words "In memory of the fallen of Godley Hill"

Local volunteers spent time tiding up the flower beds and planting new bulbs in 2014.

SJ9694 : Bench at Godley Hill War Memorial by Gerald England The bench outside Godley Hill War Memorial is badly in need of repair. See how it looked in 2010: SJ9694 : Godley Hill Bench by Gerald England.

View this journey as a Geotrip LinkExternal link


When
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 at 19:52

blog comments powered by Disqus
You are not logged in login | register