There’s nothing quite like a cenotaph on a windswept moor to bring your thoughts about the glory and futility of war into sharp focus.
The stone obelisk, commissioned to honour the 710 men from Hyde who died in the First World War, was erected in 1921 on top of a hill 800 feet above sea level – a spot hitherto known, with grim aptness, as Hackingknife.
As at Saddleworth’s war memorial, just a few miles away atop the rugged Pots and Pans hill, attending the Remembrance Day service at Werneth Low demands a little uphill struggle. Only right in the circumstances.
On any other day of the year, the walk up to Hackingknife is worth it for the vista alone. A viewfinder points out that Manchester city centre and the town centres of Oldham and Stockport can be seen from here, along with the natural delights of Kinder Scout and Bleaklow.
This month’s walk calls first at the cenotaph and then continues on an easy circuit around Werneth Low Country Park, created in the late 1970s and comprising 200 acres on the north and west sides of Werneth Low.
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