The Solitary Rambler

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Filmed 22nd April 2017
Post-production completed 26th May 2017

Running time 20 minutes
My recent fascination with walks featuring monuments or towers leads me to discover Hartshead Pike . This pretty hill in the Borough of Tameside in Greater Manchester has a small tower on its top, so I work out a walk starting and ending here. I see a little of the industrial past of Tameside as my walk takes me to a disused ironworks,  now a heritage centre , before returning to the point of interest that drew me to this area ....
Filmed in the county of Greater Manchester . Locations include Hartshead Pike , Knott Hill, Park Bridge Heritage Centre and Rocher Vale.
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Background and production details

As I had particularly enjoyed the films I had made in 2016, which had featured towers/monuments/obelisks, I wanted to do a few more in 2017. My research eventually drew my attention to a small tower on a hill called Hartshead Pike , situated within the Borough of Tameside in Greater Manchester . During my research I discovered Tameside Borough Council had produced leaflets of short walks in the area, which were available online to download, and I found two that featured Hartshead Pike. I decided I would film the “ Knott Hill Round ” walk, but start and end at Hartshead Pike rather than Park Bridge as suggested in the leaflet.

On Saturday 22nd April 2017 I made the usual early start and drove to Lily Lanes near Mossley , where I had found on Google Maps a possible place to park my car close to Hartshead Pike. Arriving here at about 8:00am there was enough roadside parking, so I parked up and began my filming on Lily Lanes. Taking many shots at Hartshead Pike I followed the route of the walk, taking me through Ashton-under-Lyne Golf Course , Knott Hill Reservoir before reaching the busy Lees Road on the outskirts of Ashton . My route took me through a few estate roads before taking a path across fields to Alt Hill Road, which I followed to Park Bridge Heritage Centre.

I stopped for lunch at Park Bridge and continued filming around this interesting point on the walk. Moving on the route on the leaflet led me to Rocher Vale, from where I climbed up to cross fields eventually reaching Lees Road again. Crossing back over I was still following the route on the leaflet, but I found all I needed to do was follow the Tameside Trail waymarker posts as I could see on my Ordnance Survey map that Hartshead Pike was on this trail. Arriving back at Hartshead I filmed the last shots here to finish the day’s filming at around 2:00-2:30pm.

​As I was so pleased with the films I had made in 2016 in the West Pennine Moors I originally planned to compose a soundtrack similar to that of “ Hilltop of Holcombe ”. However, when I started to record what I as coming up with I found that it didn’t work for “Historic Pike of Hartshead” in quite the same way, so I scrapped that idea and decided to begin again. I eventually decided on a softer theme primarily using a guitar voice from my keyboard, which I felt was working much better for this film. I tried to create something new with this one, so I opted to use a pan flute for the main melody, so I thought it gave my soundtrack a little folky sound. I did use a “nativity” voice for just one of the sequences for the tower at Hartshead Pike, as I had done to a greater extent in “Hilltop of Holcombe”, but I maintained the gentler sound for the majority of the film’s soundtrack.

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