Comments received from the FEEDBACK section.

24th July 2016.   Andy Taylor:   Good one, Geoff!! Glad to hear of you. Best wishes.

Geoff:   Thank you, Andy, I’m still creaking along.

24th July.   Keith Royle:   Thank you for all your hard work in setting this special website. It is a credit to you. Keep up the good work.

Geoff:   Thank you, Keith, I’m so glad to be appreciated.   

25th July.   Lynne Bowker:   Fascinating and thank you for such a good piece of research.

Geoff:   Thank you, Lynne, I’m glad you’ve found it interesting.

25th July.   Margaret Speakes:   What an amazing read ….thank you. 

Geoff:  Thank you, Margaret, I’m so happy you have found it amazing, it’s been worth creating.

25th July.   Dave Finnis:   Excellent, Frosty and well done. Trust all is well with you?  

Geoff:   Well that’s a blast from the past. Good to hear from you, Dave. Many thanks for your comments. I’ll email you soon.   

25th July.   Mick Nield:   Geoff just a quick well done and thank you. Good read.

Geoff:   Thanks, Mick. I’m glad you like it. If you find anything, especially to do with your team, Oldham Mountain Rescue,  that is incorrect please let me know. 

25th July.   Peter Hatton:   Thanks. Lots of fascinating new to me information about an area I have known for over forty years. One omission I think on the aircraft crash section is the site of the USAF Liberator that crashed during WW2. It was an unmanned flying bomb heading for Germany when the following aircraft lost control of it. Fortunately, it crashed on an empty hillside.

Geoff:   Thank you, Peter, and I’m so glad you’ve found some interest, especially as you have known the area for such a long time. I think the aircraft you might be referring to is the USAF Liberator PB4Y-1 63949 that crashed on Hare Hill, Broken Ground moor to the west of Chew Reservoir. The only reason I’ve not included it is because it is outside the National Park and I had to draw a boundary somewhere. The actual story about this aircraft is long and convoluted but makes a really good read. To summarize; all the crew bailed out over Lincolnshire and the aircraft carried on until it finally ran out of fuel and crashed at Broken Ground. There was no fire because it had run out of fuel but it was carrying sixteen depth charges each containing 250lbs of high explosive. Some of these spilled out onto the moor but none exploded.  What an amazingly lucky escape for the populated areas that this plane crashed on a wild and desolate moor.  

29th July.   Alex Bielecki:   (following helpful script) – Great website incidentally

Geoff:   Thank you, Alex.

1st Aug.   Ady:   Excellent site, Geoff. Your hard work is very much appreciated. Well done!

Geoff:   Thank you very much – so much praise I’m beginning to feel quite humble.

1st Aug.   Tim Singleton:   Fantastic website. Most informative. I seem to recall the last scene of the “Hitchhikers  Guide to the Galaxy” was filmed by the stream in the valley beneath Indian’s Head.

Geoff:  Thanks so much Tim. You are correct about the HHG I remember it well and I have placed an embedded video on the Introduction page.

1st Aug.   Stuart Brown:   Hi Geoff. What a fantastic website. I’m looking forward to it growing with lots of photos and more information. 

Geoff:   Thank you, Stuart, it’s good to hear from people I know from the past. As one of the Dovestones volunteer rangers, you helped to make this website. Best wishes.  

2nd Aug.  Sharon:    Some very interesting articles of Dovestones. Enjoyed reading the bizarre page especially. I have lots of video footage of Dovestones and Saddleworth Moor, taken whilst out riding the horse. It’s the best place to live and one of the most beautiful. Proud to be here.

Geoff:   Thanks, Sharon. Dovestone is such a remarkable and beautiful place, we are so lucky around here. I am wondering how you keep the video camera still while riding a horse? 

2nd Aug.   Alison Redfern:   My grandfather James Davenport published a book in the 1980s about the murders and I still have a cherished copy, seeing it on here has brought back fond memories of my grandfather and Dovestones – thank you.

Geoff:   Well that’s really interesting Alison because I bought a copy of that book (The Murders at Bill’s O’ Jack’s) back in the late 1980s. I know it’s a fictional account of the murders but is true to the facts and makes a very good read. My copy has a small sticker on the inside of the cover page stating; KAY DAVENPORT and then an address. Thanks very much for your comments and memories.  

2nd August.   Alan Shaw:   Firstly what a brilliant website. Well done. The black and white photograph ( Unknown) was taken by Stanley Willis, a local photographer who lived on Shaw Hall Bank. I have the same photo by him but hand coloured (I think). If you would like to see it please let me know, I live in Greenfield. Once again, top marks for a truly great record of Dovestones. Alan.

Geoff:   That’s so kind of you Alan and many thanks for informing me about the photo, I’ve now corrected the line from © Unknown to © Stanley Willis. I knew Stan in the 1980s and he was always around the area taking photographs, a true gent as I recall. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me using his photo. I have seen the hand-printed version, indeed I have a copy of it somewhere but many thanks for your offer.

2nd Aug.   Peter Raffle:   As I’m new to the area I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning about Dove Stones however I’ve not noticed any mention of the Isle of Skye (pub?) road. Could you provide any info, why is it called so and whereabouts it is/was. There is an extra to be added one day when the story about Neil Dovestone comes to light – if it ever does!

Geoff:   I’m so glad you enjoyed the website, Peter, thank you. Regarding the A635 Isle of Skye road, you are correct it’s something I’ve missed but I will put something about it in the next few days, probably under the GENERAL INTEREST tag. I’ll also include the story of so-called Neil Dovestone when it reaches its conclusion. 

2nd Aug.   Margot Kenny:   Well Done. Very informative and easy to access web site. I have known the area all my life. My parents were both born in Greenfield. I was born in Delph. As children we were taken on many occasions to play in chew brook long before Dovestone reservoir was built. My mother used to talk about the shooting parties at Upperwood and Ashway Gap. She also knew the whole area well having walked it with her Father.  She knew most of the people who worked up there, possibly yourself and when she heard Ashway Gap was to be demolished she managed to arrange to take me in. I walk round the reservoir at least a couple of times a week and thanks to your web site I now have a little more knowledge of the history of the area to think about whilst walking.Thank you.

Geoff:   Thank you so much, Margot. I’m glad it’s brought back memories, certainly just building the website did the same for me. It was really sad about the demolition of Ashway Gap House but at least the site is now being well used for visitors by the RSPB. 

3rd Aug.   Bob Tait:   Congratulations. Your site just passed on to me by Saddleworth friends; I will read it all with great interest, I still visit the area though now living in Crete. I recall you showing me the “Greek Inscription” after I looked for it over decades, and giving me much info for my book “Saddleworth Days”. Congratulations and sending best wishes, Bob.

Geoff:   Well how nice to hear from you Bob, you bring back many fond memories of those days gone bye. I didn’t realise you were living in Crete but I often wondered what had happened to you not seeing your name in print for a long time. As well as ‘Saddleworth Days’ I still have your first small booklet, ‘Walks around Saddleworth’ which you published in 1979 – I bet that brings back memories. Look after yourself Bob and don’t get too sunburnt in Crete. 

3rd Aug.   Tony Martin:   Many thanks for this superb website!  I was pleased to read your mention of the Fox Stone in the Climbing section. I was one of the team on the ill fated Dolomites trip in August1972 resulting in the loss of two good mates. Later in the autumn of that year, having obtained permission from North West Water we built the cairn on Fox Stone and affixed the bronze plaque in their memory. I remember the day well, we carried up sand, cement, tools and a quantity of beer which made for a merry afternoon. A second plaque was taken to the little church in the Sella pass in Italy, to be fixed in the churchyard, but subsequent visits have failed to locate it.

Geoff:    That’s really interesting Tony, and also sad, about your climbing mates Brian Toase and Tim Morton. I’ve often wondered how the cairn was started. It gets knocked down at times by idiots but it’s always rebuilt. The plaque remarkably keeps in good condition. Thank you so much for your kind words about the website, from the feedback I’m receiving on here and elsewhere it’s been well worth the effort.

5th Aug.   David Garside (Uppermill):   Thanks for the website, very enjoyable.   I just remember the 1949 Dakota crash, camping with Saddleworth Bulldogs scouts near the present sailing club in the 1950s, Jabez Bath and the building of Dovestone Reservoir.  Also the old Chew Valley Skyline fell race.   Lovers of the area will be most grateful for your hard work.

I was in Manchester City Police from 1962 and assisted in the local search for Lesley Ann Downey when she disappeared from the Boxing Day fair off Hulme Hall Lane in 1965.    In 1971 I transferred to the old West Yorkshire Police and was stationed at Uppermill from 1971 to 1974.    In 1987 I was Inspector at Oldham and lightly involved in Peter Topping’s renewed search of the moor.   Lots of memories rekindled.

An old pal is Bob Tait, and he tells me that you have been in touch with him again over the last day or so.   When we reach our seventies, the threads go back a long way!       Best wishes and thanks.

Geoff: Thank you, David, for your memories and kind remarks about the website. I had much liaison with many police officers based at Uppermill, (the old station). Who can forget Martin Warburton (Warby), Ken McWatt, Julie Bailey, Craig Johnson, and so many others. I recall once, early one morning, when I found a gang of rough campers at Chew Piece with a Royal Mail bike. At the same time, my wife radioed me to say that Steve, the postman, reported his bike as being stolen. Within a few minutes, Sgt Craig Johnson arrived at speed with blue lights flashing. Apparently, the message had been garbled and he was told it was a mail ‘bag’ that had been stolen. Good old days.  I’m glad to rekindle memories for you as you have done for me. 

8th Aug.   Trevor Thompson: Hello Geoff, Not able to enjoy the wonders of Dove stone as I once did due to immobility. This site brings back so many past memories, from being a young boy before the construction of the reservoir to modern day. The web site is top quality and I thank you Geoff for all the time and effort you have dedicated to your passion.

Geoff:   Well Trevor, I can understand completely  where you are coming from and how you feel as I am now in a similar position.  I had a tussle with a life-threatening sepsis illness a couple of years ago and was in intensive care for two weeks and seven weeks overall in hospital. This severely weakened my leg muscles and left me in a poor state for walking. I think creating the website has been good for me and although the research etc was prolonged it wasn’t really hard work because I enjoyed doing it. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it and thank you for your kind words about the site, yours, and all the other pleasant comments I’ve received make me realise it’s been well  worth it. 

11th Aug/   Tony Goacher:   Fantastic site.  My Grandparents took me regularly to Dovestones since the late 60’s, and I take my own kids there now. As an engineer now, I can always remember being fascinated by the pipes and waterworks associated with the dam. So thank you so much for publishing the construction booklets! These have enabled me to make sense of something that’s puzzled me for 45 years! Thanks!

Geoff:   I’m so glad you have has enjoyed the ‘booklets,’ Tony. I scanned them as I thought they were more likely to be viewed by a bigger audience on the Internet. I will give the actual copies to Saddleworth Museum. Thank you so much for your kind words.

11th Aug.  Roger Hope:   Great site thank you very much. We’ve just moved back into the area after 11 years away in the South great to reconnect through your site.

Geoff:   Thank you, Roger,  I’m sure you’ll find a few things to rekindle your interest in the area and hope you have a great time exploring it in the outdoors.

12th Aug.   Bob Hempstock:    What an outstanding achievement,a true labour of love.Well done Geoff!

Geoff:   Thank you so much, Bob, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the website. From my point of view, it is really satisfying knowing that so many people are happy with it.

17th Aug.   John Parker:   Thanks for this amazing website. I work at Dovestone for the RSPB as a volunteer and heritage and history questions are a frequent part of my public information role. Invaluable knowledge now saved for posterity in an easily navigated form.

Geoff:   I’m glad I’ve been able to help a volunteer such as yourself John. You must get lots of questions about this lovely area. Many thanks for your comments.

22nd Aug.   Dave Crossland: Well done Geoff, a lot of useful information. Nice to see that your still about, Jack keeps asking about you, and at 90yrs is still out and about and sometimes at Dovestones.

 Geoff:   Thanks, Dave, it’s good to hear from you after such a long time. Unfortunately, my health hasn’t been anywhere near as good as Jack’s and at present, I can’t get around –  but I bet Jack can still outwalk many youngsters even now he’s 90. I still keep up on news from your Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team website now and then. 

25th Aug.   Denzil Broadhurst. Fantastic effort Geoff. Great to see so much technical info and related photos in one place. Sorry to hear about the health problems but you have provided Saddleworth with a brilliant resource.

Geoff:   That’s really kind of you Denzil, I’ll keep adding to it now and then as I find more information. You’ve contributed much to Saddleworth yourself being one of Oldham MRT’s long-serving member. I can’t really grumble about my health as I’ve had such a fantastic time as a ranger so I consider myself overall very lucky. I might be up and about one day and hope to see you around Dovestone. 

25th Aug.   Sheila and John. Just discovered your fantastic website! Our family has been going up Chew Valley for at least 4 generations so a special place. All the best. Sheila and John. 

Geoff:   Good to hear from you, Sheila and John. Thanks so much for your comments which mean a lot to me knowing what superb artists you are. Sheila, I hope one day to return to the painting class once my legs have recovered sufficiently. Please give my regards to everybody there. 

26th Aug.   Janette Nixon. I love this website, so interesting with some great photos.  Fascinating to see how the area has evolved.  A must to read if keen to know about Saddleworth and the Peak Park.

Geoff:   Thank you for those kind comments, I’m glad you’re enjoying it, especially on how the area has evolved which was an important feature I hoped to make when I set it up. 

1st September.   Paul Howarth. Fantastic website about a remarkable place in the world. I have some photos from around 1990’s where the reservoir was drained if you produce “second edition” I also think that this material deserves to go to print and would certainly buy a copy. Brilliant.

Geoff:   That’s a really pleasant compliment Paul and thank you so much for the feedback. It would be good to put it into print but I think the costs would be too much for its  limited audience, but you never know. After completing this it has given me the impetus to get on with the book I’ve been promising for many years about my exploits as a ranger. Regarding the photos, if they are a lot different from anything on the website I’ll be happy to consider them and put them on this website which I will be updating as time goes on. I would credit you with the copyright etc. 

4th September. Bob Tait. Update: Geoff, I’ve now read every word on every page, & it’s all fascinating. Some of it I knew, much more I didn’t or have forgotten. More please!  Bramley’s Cott above the reservoir, the ‘Scotsman’s Hut’ in Holme Clough? I have a vague memory of a lady selling teas to climbers heading for Chew Valley (at Hollins?) Sure you know more about the “Major” carvings (I have 4 photos at Ravenstones, the Fairy Holes, above Ashway & at West Nab, I believe it was a favourite dog?  The “Bruno” cairn on Alphin was beautiful, but I heard destroyed by the gamekeeper? Incidentally the climber at Yellowslacks was my brother Dave, escaping family for a day & reluctant to miss a day on the rocks, strange but true! I’m enjoying living in Crete with high mountains, deep gorges and rocky coastline to explore by sea kayak. Last couple of years two trips to Nepal & one to Bhutan. “Carpe Diem” as reads the plaque to Frank on Broadstone Hill. Best wishes Geoff & keep writing …

Geoff:  Hi Bob. Great to hear from you again. You must have a lot of patience and perseverance to have read it all – almost as onerous as compiling it. I’m just having a break from the website at present but will continue soon and make some updates. Scot’s Hut in Holme Clough – I’d forgotten about that but will add it to the site.  I cannot find out anything about Bramley’s Cot despite much research. If you have any photos which might prove of interest, rather than just of scenic value, I would welcome them and will obviously credit you for them. The thing about your brother Dave is an amazing coincidence; it is something that has stuck in my mind from all those years ago. It’s funny I can remember it as if only a few weeks ago. What a guy!

18th September.   Chris Breen:   Hiya Geoff, that was a great read, very informative and interesting. Looking forward to you adding more as and when. If I can help with anything, you know where I am most days. Congratulations on your hard work.

Geoff:   Thanks, Chris that’s kind of you and I will probably see you around and about at Dove Stone. I have ideas for adding more plus an increase in photos when I receive them.


Geoff:   Hi Roland good to hear from you and many thanks for the comments. I would love to come back to the MOG corner (really the COG corner Cheerful  Old Gits) , and I will, but it might just take a bit longer for my legs to strengthen without the danger of my knees buckling. Anyway, as I used to say to Sheila, I only produce rubbish as far as painting goes. Keep up the good work and best wishes to all the class.

22nd September.   Herb Riddle. Hi Geoff. Just realised after perusing your marvellous site that I have not offered my congratulations on here. This certainly is required reading for anybody wishing to visit or know more about Dove Stones. Of course I am honoured to have a couple of my very own photographs included here. Thank you for publishing such a well-researched piece of work Regards, Herb.

Geoff:   Thank you so much, Herb and also thanks for your beautiful reflection photo of Dove Stone Reservoir – such a great shot. If you ever have anything spectacular again please let me know and I’ll see if it can fit in somewhere.

27th September.   Kevin Roberts.   Hello there. Just saying a quick thank you for your article on the knitted hang glider. I am Kevin Roberts and it was me that did the daredevil attempt in 1984 (I am Joking) Sadly because of a prolonged dry spell the level at Dovestones was too low so I was advised not to jump off the cherry picker. However, it did raise money for charity which was the whole purpose of the event. What was not mentioned was the injuries sustained to my neck due to a roughly cut piece of tubing hitting me as I ran along the jetty.

Geoff:   Good to hear from you Kevin after all this time and thanks for your comments. You were brave to have considered such a feat and it was sad that the water level was low. I did point out in my article that despite the disappointment of the crowds that it was for charity and did raise money. I’m so sorry you injured yourself on the jetty I didn’t know that and would have mentioned it had I been aware.

3rd January 2017.   Sara Hydon.  This website is brilliant Geoff, I love the photos and really useful information about the stunning northern Peak District – thank you for sharing this with me, keep up the good work (I thought you’d retired and was supposed to be taking it easy)!!!!!!! Xx

Geoff:   Thank you so much for the lovely comments, Sara. I’m afraid most people often find retirement more work than actually ‘working for a living’, although it’s not really ‘work’ if you enjoy doing something.

4th January.   Erica Gregroy.  The greek inscription. From my research on the Moors I believe the inscription was one from Ian Brady. the date and Greek wording fits to books that Brady studied in his life , including Cromwell, Milton , Plutarch and I have found other markings from them in the area where we are searching for a victim over by the Ashway tunnel and quarry . is this stone hard to find as I would like to take a look , we would have to come in over the top from the chew reservoir , thanks Erica.

Geoff:   Hi Erica. The inscription is mentioned in Ammon Wrigley’s booklet, ‘Annals of Saddleworth’ and is listed as 1685.  I don’t want to dissuade you from any searches for the missing body of Keith Bennett but throughout my whole career as a ranger in the area, I have come across numerous individuals and groups with all sorts of theories, landmarks, and even supernatural happenings, about where he (and possibly others) is buried. Unfortunately, I don’t wish to give away the precise location of the inscription for obvious reasons but I doubt it has anything to do with Ian Brady or the Moors Murders in general.  But hey – good luck with your research. 

5th January.   Terry Fitzpatrick.   Hi Geoff – I have only just discovered your excellent work on this website. This after spending many hours back in August doing research into the location of a photo of my parents at a picnic in 1922. This turned out to be in front of Ashway Gap House – where he had [possibly] been a recuperating soldier in 1917. If of interest I could provide a copy and would welcome your comment. Best wishes Terry.

Geoff:   Hi Terry, many thanks for your comments. I would be delighted to see a copy of the photo and, if you are agreeable, to place it in the Ashway House section (with attribution to yourself of course). I will contact you via your email address. Thank you.  

9th January.   Luke.   I think you’re doing a great job with the collection of information and the fact checking of it, and it’s a joy to see the website grow. It would be good to see the inclusion of the folklore of the Dovestones area.

Geoff:   Thank you, Luke, for your comments and suggestion. I’ll certainly look into including some of the folklore about the area and will add it as soon as possible. At present, I’m working on another project but I won’t forget your suggestion – just give me a bit of time. Cheers. 

30th January.  Will Wright:   I live very close to Dovestones spend a huge amount of time there. I have always been curious about its history, however it’s been difficult to find much information about it. All the maps and timelines are brilliant! Thank you for compiling all this information together.

Geoff:    Thank you, Will, I really appreciate your feedback. We are indeed lucky to live so close to this fabulous area. I never tire of its outstanding landscape and the opportunities that it offers to everybody. 

18th February.   Karen Chu (nee Roberts) Just wanted to say reading this story brought back many memories. My dad was Michael Roberts one of the men who died. I was only three at the time and only know of the story through family and newspaper cuttings. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Karen Chu. Brisbane Australia.

Geoff:   That is really interesting and thank you so much, Karen. It’s tragic to lose a parent so young in life and I hope the website hasn’t brought back too many sad memories. The avalanche is remembered well in these parts and often spoken about amongst the hill walkers and climbers.

28th February.   Tracy & Alex Taplin. Wow! Geoff this absolutely fascinating. We have walked around Dove Stone since Katie & Arran were born & have always loved the area. What we didn’t realise was the amount of history that comes with the area. Now when Arran is asking us questions we will be more informed to answer. Thank Sue for sending me the card & next time we are around, we will call & see you both. Thanks again for such a wonderful insight.

Geoff:   I’m so glad you enjoyed the website and found something of interest. Thank you so much for the kind words. You are welcome to call in whenever you’re visiting the area. 

17th April.   Roger Kennedy.   Hi, Geoff great website brought back some good memories. Must pay a visit sometime.

Geoff:   Thanks, Roger and good to hear from you. Lots have happened since you were last here it would be great if you call around sometime for a good natter.

14th Jun:   Richard Wolstencroft: Thank you for making this fantastic website very interesting and great for my Dad to look at who was born up there in 1935. Keep up the good work.

Geoff:  Thank you, Richard, I am glad you enjoyed it and hope your Dad enjoys it and finds some places he’ll recall.

16th June:   Margaret:  Where is the major cairn and who was this for , I had an uncle live in the area in the 1930s and he said he used to walk over the area a lot and cannot remember seeing this is it an old one thanks, I walk the area as I live in Marsden and do charity walks up in the area .. I am interested in visiting the Scots house too history of area is very interesting thanks, I wish to take photos to send him ..

Geoff:  Thanks for your inquiry. Major’s Cairn is situated on moorland behind Raven Stones (see Regional Map) You’ll find there is not much information about Major’s Cairn save that it is believed to be a memorial to a dog named Major and was possibly owned by a shepherd. There is a photo of the plaque to Major under the subjects WALKING. There is a great mound of stone at that location so it is possible it was once a shepherd’s hut. You can find the Scots House under the subjects heading GENERAL INTEREST. You can copy any of these photos on the site if you wish to.

1st Aug:   Carl Gannon.   Love the website – well done! Perhaps one of the most intriguing finds ever at Dove Stone was the Viking gold ring found in the brook at Nutbottom (its place of discovery now lies beneath Dove Stone Reservoir). Quite happy to knock something together if you wish to add it? (it’s a subject I know quite well) – cheers

Geoff:   That is really interesting Carl and thanks a lot for pointing it out. It is something I wasn’t aware of – just shows you even after all my research and 35 years living here, there are still things to learn. If you could let me have something about it I’ll gladly put it on the website. I intend to do some updating in the next few weeks so that will be ideal.

3rd September:   Lewis.    Hi, Visit Dovestone quite a lot. Was reading the shooting section on here and it said it’s not owned by United Utilities. Who owns it? I asked a PR person some time ago if they owned the moor and they said if it flows into it they own it or something similar etc. Also was driving past to go to Shiny Brook and there were a lot of birds on the road. Presume they had been shot. Is this normal? I’ve never seen lots on the road like that before. Cheers, some really interesting stuff on here.

Geoff:  Hi, Lewis, thanks for that and your kind comments. The shooting and fishing rights at Dovestone do not necessarily depend on who owns the land. Much of the shooting and fishing rights on land owned by United Utilities depend on deeds dating a long way back which give certain people the sporting rights. In this case, the rights belong to Mr Chris Crowther of Upperwood Estates (please see the tag MAPS then LAND OWNER map).  Regarding the birds on the road, it is now grouse shooting season so that might account for that. Perhaps you drove past whilst a shoot was taking place because usually all birds are removed from where they fall after completion of the shoot.

8th September:   From Clive.  Dear Geoff, I was very interested in your posting re. Isle of Skye Hotel. My great grandfather, William Hampshire was its landlord around 1900, and I vaguely remember being taken in the 1950’s to the hotel by my grandfather (who was born there). William Hampshire retired as landlord around 1907 and built a house (ThornBank) in Upperthong. I have an original photograph of a shooting party posing outside the hotel and could send you a copy if you are interested.

Do you have a list of landlords you could send me, or direct me to where I might find this information please?

Geoff:   Thank you, Clive, for your interest and information about the Isle of Skye Hotel on my website. I would be really grateful for a copy of the hotel and shooting party. If it’s okay with you I could include it on the website as anything that is of interest, especially historical, is always welcome. I will email you directly about this and about the list of landlords as requested.

12th September: From Brian. Dear Geoff I only discovered the joys of Dovestone in recent times though my early exposure to the outdoors and walking was close by on the other side of the Pennines around Marsden with my dad.I  ended up in Greenfield a few years ago watching my nephew play football in the Huddersfield Junior football league against 3D.  I didn’t know the area but and travelled back on the road over the moors to Wesenden Head and down to Meltham on my way home to Cleckheaton. As I passed Dovestone I recognised the name due to my RSPB membership and on instinct took the turn down to the reservoir.  Since then I’ve visited a few times and walked from Marsden to Greenfield following the Pennine way over Black Hill to Chew reservoir and Greenfield, taking the train back for a well earned pint at the riverhead brewery.

This week I walked from Dovestone down to Intake Lane, up Alphin and around the sky line to Greenfield Brook. Having visited and become familiar with the area, not least the Yorkshire heritage, I was/am fascinated by the recent “the man on the Moors” story. Having come across the stone marking the memorial to James Platt on my walk this week I was hungry for more information about the local history and found mention on one web site of the Moorcock Inn tragedy.  Then I found your web page and everything I could want to know is there.

So this message is to say thank you. This is what the internet should be about, preserving knowledge, passing on that knowledge and enriching experience.

Many thanks and congratulations on your achievements in producing such a worthwhile contribution.  Your love of the area and its history shine out and I can’t wait to get back over to see the area again with your insight in mind.

Geoff:   Hello Brian, I’m so glad my website has helped you to enjoy the area that little bit more and thank you so much for your kind comments. I agree wholeheartedly with your views on the internet, for all its faults it is an amazing source of knowledge and interest.

30th October from Martine:   Hi, I just wondered why you refer to it as Dove (space) Stone when my Mum who grew up in Greenfield always knew it as Dovestone and looking back on some historical sites etc its always titled Dovestone?

Geoff:  Hi Martine:   Thanks for your email. If you go onto my website, click INTRODUCTION  then click on the tab DUCKSTONE or DOVESTONE I give a full explanation of these somewhat confusing titles etc. You will see that the area has many names and you are correct that most people call it Dovestone but many others don’t. To be factual there is only one stone named as Dove Stone and the actual reservoir is always spelt as Dove Stone on all official or Ordnance Survey maps. Anyway, please look up the tab as above and it’s all explained there. Thank you for taking time to write.

11th November from Ann Robinson:  Met Bob Hempstock in Stockport and he told me about your website. Absolutely fascinating and full of interesting features. Congratulations Geoff on such a mammoth achievement. Still, enjoy a visit to Dove Stone…happy memories of being a Ranger – Ann

Geoff: Hi Ann, it’s great to hear from you – long time no see as the saying goes. Many thanks for your feedback on the website, so glad it has proved of interest.  Just creating it has brought many happy memories of being a ranger.

Friday 8th December: from Andy Belcher Only just discovered your amazing site. Spent many a year walking and discovering the area (a local lad). Great to find some answers to questions about the area. Do you have any info on Bramleys Cot? Who built it? What was it used for? Also, I came across the entrance to another tunnel, near Chew Green (think its a tunnel) any info on it? thanks once again. Andy B

Geoff:  Hi Andy, thanks for your comments. Regarding Bramleys Cott I have found no information about that. I was hoping somebody reading the website might know but sadly nothing. You’ll find a photo of it under TAB RECREATION AND ACCESS – WALKING where I give a short piece of information. Regarding the tunnel at Chew please look under TAB: 1950 – 1900 – CHEW RESERVOIR CONSTRUCTION. It is the tunnel that holds the syphon pipes to SWineshaw Reservoir. Hope that help. Best wishes.

Wednesday 27th Dec from Joe:  I discovered your very interesting site when Googling “Isle of Skye road.” My friend and I had a much needed hot drink when we stumbled upon “Snoopy’s when walking the first two days of the Pennine Way in torrential rain in summer 1985. I always wondered how the place got its name – thanks for the explanation. PLEASE WITHHOLD MY EMAIL ADDRESS

Geoff:  Thank you, Joe, for your comments and I’m glad the website has proved useful.  Just to make it clear to everybody – I will never place any person’s email in the comments section.  

Thursday 8th March 2018 from Lyn James:  What a delight for me to stumble upon this wonderful website.I lived in Saddleworth until I was 59 years old moving to the Yorkshire Dales and spent most of my time on the hills right up to when I relocated. The Yorkshire Dales are better protected than Saddleworth from the yobism that seems a daily occurrence down there now. I have to say I need to remember my home how it was and not how it is. The more remote areas are still unspoiled but it hurts me greatly to see the vandalism from even the official bodies. Thank you for helping me to cherish things that lie deep in my heart.

Geoff: I am so glad that the website has brought back some pleasant memories and I thank you so much for your kind comments. You live in a lovely part of the country and I agree about the vandalism and general nastiness that occurs here at times. The problem lies with the area being so close to Oldham and other urban areas so it attracts a great many good people but also the darker side of society. It’s something I can never understand why such vandals come here in beautiful countryside – open to all – but then they disfigure it, either directly or by their yobbish behaviour which upsets other people. However, if people really want to experience the beauty and peace of the area most days are fine – don’t go on weekends when it is sunny. As regards to official bodies spoiling the place I also agree. For instance; I’ve been retired over 10 years now and, when working, fought for 32 years when I was Area Ranger (as did my successor) to get better public toilet facilities, yet the same disgusting toilets exist. There is also the danger of well-meaning management changing the landscape into something it is not meant to be, fortunately, the area is within the National Park so there is still a good degree of protection – imagine if it wasn’t! 

Friday 9th March, Max: This a such a fascinating website, filled to the brim with so much information and photos of the area. I live in Delph myself and love Dovestones and the surrounding area (Saddleworth in general). If you ever look to get any of this printed I would love to help you out. Many thanks

Geoff: Max, Thank you for commenting and I am so pleased you found it interesting. I don’t intend to have it printed but if I do, I will contact you for any help. 

Sunday 15th April from Linda Balfe:  Thank you for the fascinating historical information on Dove/Duck Stone. Really interesting and informative. Keep up the good work!

Geoff:  So glad you have found interest in the website, Thank you for your comment.

Thursday 19th April: from Julie Findon: My late brother always remembered his walks round Dove stone reservoir with great fondness. As a memorial to him my family would like to follow in his footsteps to what he described as an ‘Inca like wall somewhere on a Dove stone trail. Can you help me locate where this might be?

Geoff:  A bit of a mystery this one Julie. There are numerous drystone walls throughout the Dovestone area but none really resemble Inca type build. I just wonder whether he might have been thinking of the ‘gabions’ alongside part of Chew Road near the top. These are large cubic wire baskets filled with rubble to prevent loose earth and rocks falling on the track and could resemble the large blocks that are used on Inca walls.  It is a steep climb to the top of the moors and Chew Reservoir with a precipitous valley near the top of the walk – not Machu Picchu, but most pleasant anyway. Whether or not this was what your late brother meant I wouldn’t know but the walk is really good, albeit steep. If you look under RECREATION & ACCESS on the website then click on WALKING it is Walk No4 and highlighted in pink on the map. Scroll down and you will see a photo of a couple looking down the Chew Valley and track. Hope this helps. Best wishes – Geoff.

Friday 4th May:  Chris:  Hello, I have often wondered about the asdww marker stones located around Dovestones reservoir, could you please shed some light on this? Many thanks. Chris

Geoff: Hi Chris; Yes, the stone markers reading ASDWW stand for Ashton, Stalybridge, Dukinfield Water Works. They each mark a particular line of an underground water pipe. Hope this helps. Best wishes Geoff.

Tuesday  8th May: Brilliant website spellbinding info. Spent a very enjoyable evening. Thanks for sharing.

Geoff: Hi Cedric:  That’s very kind of you for such remarks. I’m glad you enjoyed the site. Best wishes. Geoff

Tuesday  5th June:  From Andy Smith.  Superb website, very informative. Walk here a lot and have been doing so from a child in the 70’s All this beauty 5 minutes from home. Very well put together website. Thank you

Geoff: Hi Andy, thank you for your comments. Much appreciated, you are obviously a local and enjoy Dovestones. It’s such a shame about the recent anti-social behaviour and the chaos in the car parking, although this is nothing new and was just as bad in the 1980s (see INTRODUCTION. MANAGING THE AREA photo). 

Tuesday 19th June  From Catherine Burfoot:  Hi there, I love this page, I wanted to suggest that I was one of the youths sunbathing several steps down on a hot summer when the levels were low, obviously oblivious to the real danger!

Geoff:  Thanks for your comments Catherine and I’m glad you like the site. You are of course referring to the steps down Dovestone overflow before the guard was in place. I remember it well but didn’t have a camera with me to take a photo (before mobile phones). The thing that concerned me was the sun being hot that day and when sunbathing we sometimes wake up a bit dizzy. Anyway, good to know you are still on this earth. 

Wednesday 20th June: Peter Gledsdale:  I have been seeking information regarding the construction of the reservoirs at Dovestones. Your site is great, portraying a great insight into the region, its many amenities, and fantastic details of the constructions over the years. Is there more information available on the reservoir constructions?

Geoff:  Hi Peter thank you for your remarks and I’m glad you’ve found the website productive. Is there anything specific about the reservoirs that you want to know because I’ve put as much detail in as I am aware. 

Sunday 5th Aug: Michael O’Rourke:  QUALITY SITE!  A great site – by an even greater man of the moors -A big Thankyou for your excellent site !!

Geoff: Great to hear from you Michael after so many years. Thank you so much for your comments, indeed they make me feel very humble. Hope you are keeping well.

Sunday  26th Aug: Spencer Shackleton:  This quote is taken from the opening paragraph on the moors murder page you have listed on your website.” later attracts a number of tourists and weird paranormal types.” Why have you singled out a people with a common interest as WEIRD? You don’t single out any other group of visitors as weird, and nor should you. I would like you to rethink your choice of words you use to describe a group of people, who like, bird watchers, Walkers, ramblers climbers sailors etc who are passionate in the interest they take up are not subjected to ridicule. We are not weirdo’s we are just as passionate as you other many visitors and feel by your words singled out. Remember that us visitors no matter what we do are adding to the value of the use of the land that attracts funding and investment to the land from outside agencies to improve the area.

Thank you for your website, but be inclusive to everyone. I would be obliged if you can change the wording on your page.

Thank you in advance.

Spencer Shackleton – The not weird Lead Investigator of GITUK.UK

Geoff: Hi Spencer, I am so sorry to have upset you with my choice of a word, it was not meant in the pejorative but I can see now that it does appear wrong and I have altered that section to clarify what I really mean. Thanks for pointing it out. Best wishes – Geoff.

Monday 1st October from Kate Hall. Hello Geoff, I’ve spent all morning reading your website and have been swallowed up by its fascinating content.  It is so easy to read and digest.  I knew a little of Dovestone history but it’s great to learn so much more and keep learning.  Having spent my childhood walking round Dovestone with my parents on a weekend I am now lucky to live in the area.  And to top it off I am now working as the Dovestone Outreach Development Ranger for the Peak Park.  Whereas my role as a ranger differs greatly to yours when you were in post your website has helped me form a picture of then and now.

As my role is more Outreach I would also like to bring what you write in your website alive to local schools and the community.  I think it is important to understand not only the landscape and the rich habitat it supports but also who worked and lived in it and their stories, albeit some tragic. 

I am also working with the wonderful volunteer Rangers who have made me feel most welcome.

And finally, thank you for a great website.

Geoff:  Hi Kate, many thanks for your kind comments and I’m glad my website will be of use to you as an Outreach Development Ranger. You are correct, my role and the role of all full-time rangers during those years were markedly different from the Peak National Park Ranger Service as it is now. I best not say any more about that but hope you enjoy your job as much as I enjoyed mine.  Best wishes and if you need any advice please don’t hesitate to call and I’ll do my best to help.

Sunday 4th November: Abby: A gem for Sunday reading.

I visited Dovestone yesterday – and was blown away (literally, it was so windy) by the landscape, especially the huge, rocky boulders, which I found at once intimidating and awe-inspiring. I’m a writer, so wanted to write a short piece about this, and came across your website. Turns out some of that brooding intimidation was justly felt – with some real tragic and bizarre events happening in the area. I’ve just spent a good hour with a cup of tea reading all of this research, thank you so much!

Geoff: Hi Abby, so glad you had a good time at windy Dovestone. I am pleased you enjoyed reading my website and hope you have gained some inspiration for your writing. Thanks for your positive comments, all most welcome. Best wishes – Geoff

Friday 16th November;  John Harwood

Hi Geoff, fantastic site, I have used it so much with my explorations of the area. I visited the Scots house recently and it seems to have been somewhat restored and rebuilt from the pictures on your site. I have some pictures if you are interested. Also, do you know anything about the stone house which is further up greenfield brook, I think it may be outside Dovestones boundary which is maybe why you don’t mention it. I think it may have been a shooting hut as it is in close proximity to the numerous hides in the clough. I also took pictures of this too.

Best Regards, John.

Geoff: Hi John, many thanks for your comment, the query and your photos. I have now installed the various photos in the respective places. As mentioned in another email the stone house you mention is Rimmin Cottage and I have now added it under GENERAL INTEREST tag together with the reason why I didn’t originally mention it.  Once again, thanks for the photos. Best wishes – Geoff




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