Station Name: UPPERMILL

[Source: Alan Young]


Date opened: 1.7.1886
Location: North side of Station Road immediately west of the railway overbridge where the road becomes Shaw Lane.
Company on opening: London & North Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 1.1.1917
Date closed completely: 15.6.1964
Company on closing:

Passengers: London & North Western Railway
Goods: British Railways (London Midland Region)

Present state: Station building in residential use. Platforms and associated buildings demolished. Trackbed is now a footpath through the station site.
County: Yorkshire (now Oldham)
OS Grid Ref:

Passenger station SD999057
Goods station SD998054

Date of visit: May 2015

Notes: Saddleworth is an extensive parish within which are several large villages, many hamlets and numerous farmsteads. Uppermill is one of the largest of the settlements, formerly possessing several woollen mills and a cotton mill, and today attracting visitors who enjoy its numerous quaint stone cottages and attractive shops. In August 1849 Saddleworth station opened on the Huddersfield - Manchester railway, about ½-mile north of Uppermill village, but in 1886 the village was provided with a far more conveniently located station on the new Micklehurst Loop. The new line was built primarily for through traffic rather than with local interests in mind, so unfortunately Uppermill and the other three ‘Loop’ stations had only an infrequent service of five trains each way on weekdays and none on Sunday.  Below is the timetable for Uppermill just over a year after the station opened:


Up trains: weekdays
August 1887

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

8.28am

Manchester Exchange§

7.43am

Leeds

11.54am

Liverpool Lime Street§

10.47am

Diggle

12.56pm

Manchester Exchange§

12.42pm

Diggle

3.55pm

Manchester Exchange§

3.41pm

Leeds

8.04pm

Liverpool Lime Street§

7.13pm

Diggle

§ Timetable suggests that Micklehurst Loop train couples with train via Mossley at Stalybridge

In winter 1895-96 the frequency of trains had not been altered, but they were re-timed and destinations had changed:


Up trains: weekdays
December 1895

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

8.32am

Stalybridge

8.03am

Huddersfield

11.54pm

Stalybridge

10.28am

Huddersfield

2.42pm

Stalybridge

12.40pm

Leeds

4.43pm

Stockport

2.40pm

Leeds

7.48pm

Stalybridge

7.38pm arrival

Terminates here

Uppermill station (rendered as ‘Upper Mill’ on OS maps and in the Railway Clearing House Handbook) had two facing platforms on an embankment with the station house and office range at road level built as a mirror image of the arrangement at Micklehurst.  The station house was constructed of dark red brick with string courses of blue engineering brick and pale stone lintels. It was a dignified two-storey structure, almost square in plan. The house was flanked by single-storey wings. The station house roof was hipped and slated, with restrained cresting and finials, and a cornice was provided using a row of bricks set at 45⁰ as dentils. The tall chimneystacks were of blue brick. The entrance from the road to the house was centrally placed and sheltered by a small sloping canopy, with pairs of tall rectangular windows either side. Apart from the opening above the doorway, other windows were also in pairs. The northern single-storey wing containing the booking hall was distinguished by a double-hipped awning, complementing the building’s hipped roof. The rear of the house directly abutted the embankment.

The two elevated platforms were provided with timber waiting rooms, the longer one – which probably also contained a porters’ room – being on the down platform. Both buildings were fronted by verandahs of equal length, that on the up platform being considerably longer than the building. The platforms were most likely of timber construction as that material was used for the platforms at Micklehurst, where they were also on an embankment, and timber would be a much lighter load than masonry for an embankment to support. It is assumed that access to the platforms was by staircases, as seen on photographs of Micklehurst and Staley & Millbrook stations which also had a road-level main buildings and elevated platforms.

At all four stations on the Micklehurst Loop the passenger and goods facilities were some distance apart. The difficult topography explains this feature of the stations: wide areas of level land had to be available, or created, for the goods facilities, whilst the passenger stations could be accommodated on narrower sites, preferably close to the main centre of population. However there was probably no real benefit in combining the two functions on one site. At Uppermill the passenger station was north of Station Road bridge while the goods yard was about 250yd to the south, where a broad embankment had to be constructed to accommodate it on the down (west) side of the running lines. Uppermill’s goods facilities consisted of several sidings and a large, two-storey, two-road warehouse in blue engineering brick – as found at the other three stations - a 5-ton capacity crane and a weigh office. The signal cabin was on the up side of the running lines.

The local passenger train service remained infrequent in the early years of the twentieth century, and the stations were lightly used.  Micklehurst closed to passengers in 1907, followed by Staley & Millbrook in 1909, but Uppermill  and Friezland remained open for several  years more.


Up trains: weekdays April 1910

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

8.40am

Stockport

7.53am ¶

Leeds

11.41am

Stalybridge

10.56am

Marsden

2.50pm

Stalybridge

2.32pm

Leeds

4.53pm

Stalybridge

-

-

¶ Approximate time. Calls by request to take up for Leeds and beyond.        No Sunday trains

The April 1910 timetable, above, shows a reduced service in comparison to 1895, particularly in the down direction. On 1 January 1917 the two remaining stations – along with a number of Britain’s quieter stations – were closed to release staff for military service in the ‘Great War’. Some of these stations re-opened after the war was over, but Uppermill  and Friezland did not. Passenger trains continued to use the Micklehurst Loop, but no record has been seen of calls being made after 1917 at any of the intermediate stations, even for excursions.

Uppermill station was administered by the London, Midland & Scottish Railway from January 1923 and British Railways’ London Midland Region from January 1948. On 15 June 1964 the goods station closed, but the signal cabin was in use until 3 October 1966 when the line closed entirely between Diggle and Hartshead Power Station (Staley & Millbrook). Today nothing remains of the goods station; a football pitch occupies the site of the warehouse and the southern end of the goods sidings, just north of Rush Hill Road, is now used by Saddleworth Swimming Pool. The railway trackbed through the passenger station and across Station Road bridge is now a public footpath. Nothing remains of the platforms but the station house is in residential use. It has retained much of its original appearance but has lost the small canopy above the door and there is only one chimneystack remaining. The recessed single-story wing south of the station house is not original.

CLICK HERE FOR A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE HUDDERSFIELD & MANCHESTER RAILWAY AND THE MICKLEHURST LOOP

Bradshaw from Nick Catford. Route map drawn by Alan Young

Other web sites: The Micklehurst Loop - Numerous archive pictures along the loop.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

To see stations on the Micklehurst Loop Line
click on the station name:
Friezland, Micklehurst & Staley & Millbrook

See also Diggle


Uppermill goods station, looking north-west from near Ballgrove. This view (circa 1905) highlights the goods warehouse, a commodious structure in engineering brick. Some rakes of goods and mineral wagons occupy the sidings. A traction engine is standing in the yard (left).  Uppermill (or Saddleworth) Viaduct is seen on the original Huddersfield-Manchester route which runs parallel to the Micklehurst Loop. Den and Ladcastle quarries, both in operation at this time, are excavated into the distant hill.
Photo from Peter Fox 'Old Saddleworth' collection



1893 1:2,500 OS map. Although shown as ‘Upper Mill’ on this map, Bradshaw timetables called it ‘Uppermill’. The two passenger platforms are seen on an embankment with buildings and awnings (shown by cross-hatching). The main building, west of the tracks, is in the angle between Station Road (not named, but passing under the railway) and the forecourt. The station is on the eastern edge of the village, but High Street and the Square are within two or three minutes’ walk. The goods station is south of the passenger station. Two sidings pass through its shed (warehouse) where a weigh house (WM=Weighing Machine) is shown extending to the north. There are two further goods loops and two dead-end sidings, all on the down (west) side of the running lines. The station’s signal box is placed alongside the goods facilities, on the up side of the running lines.


1906 1: 2,500 OS map. Little has changed since the earlier survey. However the station (still open) is no longer given a name.

Uppermill ceased to be a passenger station in 1917 and is no longer identified as such. The platforms are not shown distinctly and the accompanying aerial photograph of 1926, although indistinct, shows that they had been removed. Assuming they were of timber construction, they would probably have deteriorated rapidly after the station closed and maintenance ceased. The up platform building (east of the tracks) is still shown. A crane (C) is now shown towards the southern end of the goods yard.


1952-53 1: 2,500 OS map. The goods facilities appear not to have changed. However the former passenger station’s main building and the up platform waiting shelter are now shown as ‘ruin’. Housing has now spread up to the goods yard and to the east of the railway.


The southern part of Uppermill station, looking east c1905. The station building with its hipped roof is at road level, just left of the bridge. It is flanked by single-storey wings; the left wing (containing the booking hall) carries an awning. A retaining wall supporting the embanked railway is seen behind the building. On the left the covered staircase leads upwards to the down platform, whose timber trestle construction can be observed. The rear of the timber building on the down platform is at the extreme left of the photo. It is worth comparing this view with the exterior of Micklehurst station, shown on a clearer picture, which is a mirror image of Uppermill. The purpose of the lengthy single-storey building at ground level close to the staircase is not known.
Photo from Peter Fox 'Old Saddleworth' collection


A panoramic view eastwards across the old Diggle-Stalybridge line (with train) towards Uppermill c1910. In the village are Victoria Mill (cotton), lower left, with Alexandra Mill (cotton) on its right and Dam Head Mill (cotton spinning) in its dominant position beside Church Road. A little right of centre in the distance the platforms and waiting sheds of Uppermill station on the Micklehurst Loop can be seen, with the station building to the right, at a lower level close to the railway bridge. Click here for a larger version.
Photo from Peter Fox 'Old Saddleworth' collection


Photos of Uppermill station are few, but this low resolution view from August 1926 includes the station building, just right of centre, and the up platform building towards the left edge of the photo. The timber platforms have been demolished, but what appear to be their supports are in place to the right of the platform building and on the down side towards the left edge.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Simmons Aerofilms Ltd


Uppermill goods station looking east c1937. A cricket match appears to be in progress on the ground to the left. The goods warehouse dominates the scene, built on a generous scale, as were those at the other Micklehurst Loop stations. The single storey section of the warehouse contains offices and toilet facilities. The sidings are occupied by numerous wagons. New houses can be seen beyond the railway, on Bankside Avenue.
Photo from Peter Fox 'Old Saddleworth' collection


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

At all four stations on the Micklehurst Loop the passenger and goods facilities were some distance apart. This northward view from Rush Hill Road bridge is of the goods yard at Uppermill, and the passenger station is ahead but out of sight. The tall, brick-built warehouse on the left was a standard feature of these goods stations. On 5 June 1958 ex-WD 2-8-0 No.90671 is hauling loaded coal wagons southbound from Diggle (dep  5.55pm) to Heaton Norris (Stockport). The Riddles-designed locomotive was produced from 1943 for the War Department and entered British Railways service in 1948, based initially at 73C, Hither Green shed in Kent. She was withdrawn from 26F, Lees Oldham shed, on 30 September 1963 and cut up at Crewe works the following December.
Photo by B Hilton


At all four stations on the Micklehurst Loop the passenger and goods facilities were some distance apart. This northward view from Rush Hill Road bridge is of the goods yard at Uppermill, and the passenger station is ahead but out of sight. The tall, brick-built warehouse on the left was a standard feature of these goods stations. On 5 June 1958 ex-WD 2-8-0 No.90671 is hauling loaded coal wagons southbound from Diggle (dep  5.55pm) to Heaton Norris (Stockport). The Riddles-designed loco was produced from 1943 for the War Department and entered British Railways service in 1948, based initially at 73C, Hither Green shed in Kent. She was withdrawn from 26F, Lees Oldham shed, on 30 September 1963 and cut up at Crewe works the following December.
Photo by Jim Davenport


Uppermill passenger station building is seen in residential use in November 1970. The station closed in January 1917 as a ‘wartime economy measure’ and never reopened. The timber platforms were on the embankment behind the station building. This type of building was found at all four of the Micklehurst Loop stations.
Photo by John Mann


A footpath follows the trackbed of the Micklehurst Loop through Uppermill. The view is southwards in May 2015 towards Station Road bridge. The passenger station platforms were on both sides of the double-track line at this point, and the building is out of sight on the right behind the trees near
the two pedestrians.
Photo by Alan Young

Uppermill passenger station building, looking north-east in May 2015 – almost a century after it closed. The building is in residential use and has undergone some minor alterations since photographed by John Mann in 1970. The timber platforms, long since demolished, were behind and to the left of the upper storey of the building.
Photo by Alan Young


Undated

May 2015

Click on thumbnail to enlarge


 

 

 

[Source: Alan Young]




Last updated: Tuesday, 23-May-2017 08:37:26 BST
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