June 2018
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Jo Taylor receives Above and Beyond Award at Diggle Blues

Jo Taylor receiving her Above and Beyond Award from Dave Wood at the Diggle Blues Festival on Sunday 10th June at Diggle Band Club.

Jo’s remarkable achievements are testament to her determination and strength of will. Having had treatment for primary breast cancer 11 years ago and after being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer 4 years ago, she now supports cancer patients from across the whole of the U.K. and worldwide with peer-to-peer health advice through her web site, After Breast Cancer Diagnosis (ABCD).

Jo firmly believes (and there is written evidence to support this) that through exercise and fitness, debilitating cancer treatments can be enhanced. This improves chances of recovery and remission and significantly supports living with and beyond for both primary and secondary cancer patients.

Jo said, “I’m delighted to get the award and I hope it will inspire and motivate cancer patients to adopt a mindset that helps them to go way beyond what they thought they could achieve.”

Dave Wood, Diggle Blues Festival organiser said, ” Jo is an inspiration. Just over 11 years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer, at a time when she had a 5 month old baby and a two year old son. Rather than retreat into self-pity she pushed forward and started After Breast Cancer Diagnosis. This took incredible strength, stamina and determination. Her work helping patients make informed choices has been tireless.

“In addition to advice, Jo also runs retreats promoting the benefits of exercise and positive thinking. She encourages wellbeing both physically and mentally through Nordic walking, cycling, running, relaxation and yoga.

“Jo’s fundraising for ABCD exceeded £3500 last year. In addition, she completed the Manchester to Blackpool cycle ride four times whilst fundraising for Christies (once in the middle of chemotherapy).  She has raised, over the past four years, £20,000  for charity.

“Her preparatory work and conferences took her to Lisbon, Madrid, Copenhagen, and Paris. She has lobbied government and met with the previous Shadow Health Secretary, Heidi Alexander and her own MP, Debbie Abrahams.

“Jo attends The Christie for treatment every three weeks and has been doing that for four years. She has had numerous chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Jo admits to being “a bit odd” but to many she comes across as selfless, brave and inspirational. I’m very proud to recognise her with the Above and Beyond Award.”

For more information about ABCD and Jo Taylor visit: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis

2018 Turnpike Cycle Challenge

Saddleworth Roatary Club and the Clarion Cycle Club, organisers of the challenging Turnpike Cycle Challenge are hoping for a record turnout at this tear’s event on Sunday 17th June.

The challenge starts in Diggle and follows a circular 25 mile route across the Pennine Moors.

Over the years, the event has attracted a wide range of abilities and bikes and has been particularly popular with family groups. Refreshments on-route and support from bike mechanics and vehicles means anyone with a pedal  bike can have-a-go.

Jon Stocker, spokesperson for the Roatary Club said, “Chris from Clarion and I are looking forward to running the fourth Turnpike Challenge on 17th June. Each year we have been delighted to see the number of riders taking part increase.

“The route starts out from Diggle Band Club at 8.30am, and from there the cyclists go to Greenfield, then over the Isle of Skye road to Meltham and then back via Linthwaite and Standedge to the Band Club for very welcome pie and peas and a cup of tea. Rotary volunteers man the route to make sure no-one goes off track.

“The event raises funds and awareness of Prostate cancer.  Each year the ride takes place on Fathers’ Day which makes this particularly poignant. All we need is a bit of that Saddleworth sunshine and we will have a great day!”

For further information please go to www.turnpikechallenge.co.uk 

This year’s 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 a.m and 9:30 a.m  on Sunday, June 17.
  • End of ride hot food, tea and cakes


  • Road, Hybrid  or Electric bike in full working order
  • Riders must wear helmets to validate insurance cover
  • On line application £12:50
  • On the day             £15:00.

2018 Saddleworth Show and WelliFest

For full details go to 2018 Saddleworth Show

The Rain Couldn’t Stop Them!


2018 Diggle Blues Festival

Saddleworth Group of Artists Annual Summer Exhibition 2018

Artist – Janis Bowie “ Uppermill beyond the Viaduct “ Acrylic on canvas and 80cm x 60 cm

Well known local artists will again be exhibiting their work for the Saddleworth Group of Artists Summer Exhibition at the Saddleworth Museum from Saturday 9th June to Sunday 7th July

Always a popular show, the exhibition will be comprised of up to fifty works, with styles ranging from photorealism to expressionistic. Most paintings will be on sale.

The group, founded in 1950 by watercolourist Ellis Shaw and friends, is currently comprised of around sixty enthusiastic members. Some are full-time professionals but all are seriously committed to their work.

Recent Lottery funded the refurbishment of the Saddleworth Museum has transformed the existing museum with improved access, enhanced displays and exhibitions and an engaging learning programme, all ensuring the museum’s future for many years to come.”

Striding Edge (Towards Patterdale). Artist Pamela Durrans

Check out our website – www.saddleworthartists.co.uk.

Saddleworth Museum, High St, Uppermill, OL36HS Tel. 01457874093.

Entry to the exhibition gallery is free of charge.


Roll-up, roll-up for the greatest show in town as Festival Oldham returns for 2018.

The borough’s annual free celebration of art, entertainment and street theatre takes place on Saturday 26 May, 11am to 4pm in Parliament Square and the Parish Church in Oldham Town Centre and Gallery Oldham.

This year the festival takes on a circus theme and is part of Circus250, a national celebration marking 250 years of circus.

Oldham has a rich history of circus performances and the Coliseum Theatre actually began life in 1885 as the Grand American Circus and Hippodrome.

To mark this rich heritage the town will be welcoming over 100 of the very best circus, variety and music performers to Oldham this late May Bank Holiday weekend. See the unusual, bizarre and unbelievable feats of Doctor Diablo’s Sideshow – including amazing fire-eating, escapology and contortionism.

Circus Sensible and their beautiful blue and yellow big tops will transform the Parish Church yard into the ‘The Circus Gardens’. This is a chance to watch spectacular performers from around the world and have a go at juggling, stilt walking, plate spinning and much more.

Oldham’s resident circus elephants Hessi and Kalli will be exploring Parliament Square, these loveable cheeky elephant sisters love meeting new people and getting up to mischief. A beautiful giant lion will be prowling the streets accompanied by her faithful assistant who will beckon forth all who wish to meet the spirit of the pride.

Look out for the larger than life circus ringmaster and the amazing aerial acrobatics of Circus Vee at Gallery Oldham. Also, keep an eye out for Tiddles the Circus Tiger – the brand new Oldham Theatre Workshop street theatre show.

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood and Co-operatives, said: “Festival Oldham is always a real crowd pleaser and one of the highlight of our events calendar. It attracts a huge crowd every year and this year’s circus theme promises to be something really special. We look forward to welcoming people to this spectacular, free event.”

For more information visit www.visitoldham.com or call 0161 770 3070.

Bus passengers update about changing fares

Local Link, Ring and Ride and school bus passengers are set to see a number of changes to the fares they pay.

The changes, which TFGM say will help support essential services and invest in ongoing transport network improvements, will see the following fares increase:

  • Local Link (from 1 June): single fare increase from £2.50 to £2.60, weekly ticket increase from £20 to £20.80, concessionary single fare increase from £1.20 to £1.25 and a concessionary weekly ticket increase from £10 to £10.40.
  • Ring and Ride (from 1 June): concessionary fare increase from £1.20 to £1.50.
  • School bus (from September): single fare increase from £1.30 to £1.35, return ticket increase from £2.20 to £2.30 and a weekly ticket increase from £7 to £7.30.

TFGM say Local Link and school bus fares are increasing in line with inflation, while Ring and Ride fares are increasing to help maintain the existing level of service to customers following a funding reduction to Greater Manchester Accessible Transport Ltd (GMATL) – which operates the Ring and Ride service.

The Ring and Ride fare increase was discussed during a consultation process with users and charity groups. Stakeholder consultation sessions were held in September 2017 and public surgeries were held in April 2017 and April 2018.

According to TFGM, the feedback indicated that users would be willing to pay the revised fare, as they valued the service greatly and felt that it would still offer value for money.

TfGM’s Interim Head of Bus Services, Alison Chew, said: “Where commercial operators don’t run we have an important role to play in paying for services where there is a social need, so that access to education, healthcare and jobs is maintained.

“We strive to ensure that they provide the best possible service while also representing value for the public purse.

“We recognise that there’s never a good time to increase fares but the changes are needed to ensure these vital services can continue to operate without any detriment to customers.”

For information on public transport across Greater Manchester visit www.tfgm.com, call 0161 244 1000 (7am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-8pm at weekends and bank holidays) or follow @OfficialTfGMon Twitter.

Saddleworth Round Table give support to Dobcross Youth Band

Young musicians are looking good as well as sounding great, thanks to a generous donation from Saddleworth Round Table.

Members of the group donated £875 to Dobcross Youth Band, which has paid for a smart new set of polo shirts for the youngsters to wear at fundraisers and other events. Chairman Richard Foster made the presentation at a rehearsal at Dobcross Band Club as the players celebrated their recent first place in the youth section of the Holme Valley Brass Band Contest.

The Youth Band will still wear their traditional scarlet jackets for concerts and parades, but the polo shirts will be a comfortable alternative for less formal events.

Chairman Sue Crook said: “We are so grateful to Saddleworth Round Table for their wonderful support. The players are thrilled with the new shirts which will give us a more coordinated look at events where band jackets are too formal. It’s great to see community organisations working together like this.”

The Youth Band, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2018, has beginners and intermediate sections as well as the youth band and new players aged seven-18 are always welcome. Anyone interested should contact the band at dobcrossyouthband@gmail.com

Diggle School awarded ‘Good’ by OFSTED

Diggle Primary School has been given a ringing endorsement by Ofsted. The school has been judged as ‘good’ in all areas following a two-day inspection which took place in March this year.

Ofsted highlighted many strengths across teaching and learning; outcomes for pupils; leadership and management; early years provision; and personal development, behaviour and welfare.

Head teacher Sarah Newton said: “We are very pleased that Ofsted have praised our school. Their report reflects our commitment to excellent standards of care and education.”

Inspectors highlighted the school’s “inclusive and friendly atmosphere”, adding that pupils work hard and feel proud of their school. Pupils achieve well in writing, many older children develop a “love of reading” and leaders are “ambitious for the school”. Music was viewed as a particular strength, with an “impressive array” of opportunities for pupils, but children “make strong progress in many subjects”.

Diggle School, on Sam Road, has around 180 pupils aged four to 11, including children who travel from West Yorkshire every day. It shares a site with Diggle Dandelions pre-school, which has been rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Mrs Newton added: “We feel Ofsted’s report has given an accurate view, both of the school’s strengths and of our areas to continue developing. There is a huge amount to celebrate at Diggle School and we are immensely proud to be at the heart of our community. Our role is to create a happy, secure environment where children enjoy learning, feel valued and love coming to school. We have a clear focus on standards and we are passionate about helping children to fulfil their potential.”

For more information about the school, visit www.diggleprimary.co.uk