August 2016
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Volunteers get hands on to look after Diggle stretch of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal

VOLUNTEERS: (Back L to R) Phil Smith, Canal & River Trust, Liz O’Driscoll, Glenise Eason, Barbara Barnes; (Front L to R) George Brooks and Mark Brook.

VOLUNTEERS: (Back L to R) Phil Smith, Canal & River Trust, Liz O’Driscoll, Glenise Eason, Barbara Barnes; (Front L to R) George Brooks and Mark Brook.

By Aimee Belmore – August 24, 2016

DIGGLE COMMUNITY Association is working with The Canal and River Trust to help to look after the Diggle stretch of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

VOLUNTEERS: (Back L to R) Phil Smith, Canal & River Trust, Liz O’Driscoll, Glenise Eason, Barbara Barnes; (Front L to R) George Brooks and Mark Brook.

This stretch of canal brings delight to many locals and visitors who marvel at its surroundings and unique flight of locks.

But with increasing popularity the canal requires an extra attention – so DCA volunteers are helping to make a difference.

The working group meets every two or three weeks and spends two hours, usually on a Saturday morning, maintaining the locks, picking litter and keeping towpaths accessible and clean.

Over the past few months the DCA volunteers have helped to remove 40 bags of rubbish, paint the Canal and River Trust cabin and rebuild a partly collapsed stone wall.

Mark Brooks DCA chair, said: “The next event is scheduled for Saturday, September 3 from 10:30am – 12:30pm.

“The session will be aimed at improving and making the towpath nearest the railway line more accessible and user friendly.

“As well as our regular litter picks this will be our on-going project for the next few months.

“Everyone is welcome to attend the sessions. Come and join the fun, meet new friends and help to look after a beautiful Saddleworth asset.”

Equipment, gloves and tuition is provided. Further information about getting involved can be obtained by emailing Mark Brooks:

Review of the 2016 Diggle Blues Festival


Tom Attah, Woolyknits (Photo: ©StuartColeman)

by Dave Wood

The weather for the 2016 Diggle Blues Festival was glorious. The festival was a huge success with large crowds attending every gig.

During the past 6 years, approximately 60 bands or artists have appeared at the festival, so, in tribute, we invited back just a few of the most popular acts for this retrospective 7th year.

Musicians appearing this year were; Big Joe Bone, Blue Swamp, Half Deaf Clatch, Blues Train, Soft Shoe Sam, John Otway, Bad Back Blues Band, BluzeBox, Tom Attah, Usual Suspects UK, Mike Sweeney & Paddy O’Hare with the Collective.

Musicians have told us that the Diggle Blues Festival has built a good reputation on the festival circuit. Word has spread widely and we currently get nearly 400 applications a year to fill just 11 spots. It has become quite prestigious to grab a spot at Diggle. Musicians tell us that they like playing to audiences who actually listen to the music (rather than just a boozy noisy crowd). They also like the fact that they get paid on the day and are not tied down by contracts.

Many visitors have commented that Diggle is a friendly festival and a lovely part of the world..

Having staged the festival for 7 years, I am hoping, next year, to step down and let someone else run the event. It’s been a great experience and I’m very pleased that it has become as successful as it has.

For information relating to the 2017 festival check the Diggle Blues Festival facebook page in January 2017.

Click here to see a gallery of photographs taken at this tear’s festival.

Turnpike Challenge 2016


2015 Turnpike Challenge (Photo:© StuartColeman)

by John Stocker

The second Turnpike Challenge Charity Bike ride was again held on the morning of Father’s day, 19th June.  The joint venture between Saddleworth Rotary and Saddleworth Clarion Cycle Club attracted 60 riders of all age groups including one energetic Rotarian – John Ainley. The weather was much kinder to the riders this year and all completed the 25 mile round trip over the tops of the Pennines.  Chris Moreman, the event organiser commented that again he was very pleased with the turnout and is looking forward to running the event in 2017

The ride started and finished at the Diggle Band Club where the returning riders received welcoming hot drinks and a steaming plate of pie and peas provided by Jo Castle. Jon Stocker from Rotary said that the riders really appreciate the hot drinks and food when they finish the ride and also love the flapjacks at the half way feed station, which were kindly baked by the staff of North Ainley Solicitors.

The organisers would like to thank Paul Smith of Cycle Tech Oldham for giving his time to make any necessary repairs to the bicycles, the Rotarians and volunteers who stewarded and manned the feed station and the Clarion Cyclists who went round with the riders offering support and making sure no one got left behind. Last but not least, the riders that turned out with their hard earned cash to support the event, and in some cases had been organised enough to get some valuable sponsorship for their efforts. Special mention to Nigel Hill of Saddleworth Round Table/41 Club. With their help Rotary have raised over £750 for Prostate Cancer UK.

Diggle School Ceilidh

DigglDiggle Primary School_v2e Primary School are holding their summer fundraiser event on Friday 8th July 5:00 – 9:00pm
at the school.

It looks like a great time is guaranteed with a Ceilidh, BBQ, bar, live music and games/craft stalls.

Please pop the date in your diaries and give it your best Diggle support


Volunteers Needed for Dovestones Disaster

logo_150A rare and exciting volunteering opportunity available for 1 day only

We are looking for “Victims” could that be you? We have a great opportunity to be involved in a mock disaster, we are looking for 30 lucky volunteers to support the team within Greater Manchester that spring into action whenever a disaster happens. The Oldham disaster will occur when Dovestones reservoir out in Saddleworth breaks its banks. Our volunteers will end the journey at a rescue centre and will be looked after by the team. Don’t worry about being injured, that’s not going to happen we will give you an identity to follow, and you will receive support and assistance before evaluation the service that you have received.

All our volunteers will meet here on Thursday 14th July, at the moment we are saying 10.00 for about 4 hours but the times are subject to confirmation.

Transport to Saddleworth is included free of charge as will be refreshments.

If you fancy an interesting day out, enjoying the fresh air of Saddleworth, give me a call on 0161 339 2345 or email me at

Three Weekly Waste Collection Approved by OMBC

garbage-can-1111448_960_720Oldham Council’s Cabinet has approved proposals to change the way rubbish and recycling is collected across the borough. From October, bin collections will switch from a two-weekly to a three-weekly cycle – with food and garden collections remaining weekly.

The changes aim to improve the borough’s recycling rate by 12 per cent and reduce the amount spent on general rubbish disposal by as much as £3 million over the next two years. The new scheme will begin on October 3.

This simplified collection pattern will see grey bins for general rubbish collected one week; blue bins for paper and card the week after; and,brown bins for glass, plastics and tins the following week. Food and garden waste will still be collected on a weekly basis and this service will be rolled out to a small remaining number of rural properties that don’t currently have it.

The council is also providing residents with all of the recycling space they need for free. Households that don’t currently have recycling bins can order some and those with small recycling bins will be able to order larger ones.
Any residents not currently using the food waste service can order free food caddies to ensure they have everything they need to start recycling food waste ready for their new collections

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said: “Due to government funding cuts over the last few years Oldham Council has had to change the way our frontline services work. These changes to our waste collection service are the latest but we are confident they will continue to provide value for money

“Over the next few years we want to see to our recycling rates increase so we don’t have to pay huge financial penalties. By cutting disposal costs we’ll be helping to save council tax payers’ money, which can be used on other essential public services.

“Over the next two years the council needs to make £37m worth of savings. Making these changes will help avoid further costs putting even more pressure on the Council’s budget. Doing nothing is not an option.

“We’d also like to remind residents that using their weekly collections for food waste and garden waste will eliminate the potential for bad smells and flies, particularly during warmer weather.”

Collection days will stay the same. For example, if a household’s bins are currently collected on a Monday this will continue after the change.

Packs with information about the changes and a recycling guide will be delivered to all households during July. Bin collection calendars specific to each area will be distributed to all residents in September to ensure people are ready and informed.

There a very small number of properties in the borough that will be affected slightly differently – namely flats with communal bins and rural areas. The council will communicate with these residents separately to ensure they are clear on how the changes affect them.

Details of the new service can also be found on the council website at or by calling 0161 770 6644

184 Bus Service to Diggle to be Curtailed



From Monday 25th July First will be making some changes to service 184 in the Saddleworth area.

There will be no significant changes to the journeys that operate between Manchester & Huddesfield via Uppermill and Diggle or to the journeys that terminate at Uppermill. Unfortunately however due to low passenger demand most of the journeys that currently terminate at Diggle and operate via Dobcross will be curtailed at Grotton.

Diggle will continue to be linked with Manchester, Oldham and Uppermill every hour by the journeys on service 184 that operate to/from Huddersfield Dobcross will be continue to be served by services 353/4 providing links to Uppermill. There will be no significant change to service 180 that will continue operate every 30 minutes. First would like to apologise if this changes causes any inconvenience.

Diggle Greets the Flying Scotsman

On Tuesday the 7th June hundreds of people gathered trackside in Saddleworth to see the world famous Flying Scotsman pass through the area on its way to a show in Crewe. Those keen to see the steam train again can catch it, this week, on its return to York on Tuesday 13th at 3pm.

Flying Scotsman exits the Standedge Tunnel (Photo:©Stuart Coleman)

Flying Scotsman exits the Standedge Tunnel (Photo:©Stuart Coleman)


The Turnpike Cycling Challenge


Turnpike Poster.pptx

Saddleworth Rotary and Clarion Cycle Club are once again running the Father’s Day Turnpike challenge, a 25 mile bike ride into the dramatic scenery of the Pennine moors. The ride is fully supported with roaming Clarion riders and a van. There is a half way refreshments point and at the end of the ride there is Joe Castles famous meat and potato or cheese and onion pie washed down with lashings of tea. What a way to start Fathers day!

Ride Details
· Start and finish at Diggle Band Club, Saddleworth, OL3 5PJ
· 25 mile ride on A and B roads, which includes two moderate climbs onto the Pennine Moors
· Half way refreshments/aid point
· Roaming van and for mechanicals and returns to base
· Start time is between 8:30 and 9:30 AM on the 19th of June
· End of ride hot food, tea and cakes


· Road or Hybrid bike in full working order
· Riders must wear helmets to validate insurance cover

· On line application £12:50
· On the day £15:00

On-Line Application

For further information follow this link

2016 Diggle Blues Festival

by Dave WDiggle BF 1 001ood

Diggle Blues Festival is designed so that you can watch the first band or artist at the first venue, have half an hour to walk to the next venue, buy a drink, find a seat, watch the next band, and so on…

It’s a musical tour of Diggle.

You don’t have to choose between one band and another. You can watch all ten or eleven acts over the weekend – and all for FREE – although a voluntary donation of, say, £1 per head, per band wouldn’t be turned down. Purchasing a programme or a tee shirt would also help the funding of this non profit making event and keep it free in future years.

The festival is an indoor event so you don’t have to worry about the weather. Some acts may be moved outdoors in the unlikely event that we get good weather…

Just turn up and enjoy some really good “jeans-in-the-fridge”, live blues music.

Diggle BF 2 001