The maps used in this sequence of articles are predominantly 25″ OS Maps from 1896 through to 1922 and have been sourced from the National Library of Scotland.  There are a number of websites which focus on the Loop which are excellent. The sites concerned are noted immediately below and the relevant link can be found in the references section of this page or by clicking on the highlighted text here:
- The most detailed treatment of the line and its stations can be found on the Disused Stations – Site Records website. The particular pages on that site which cover the Loop were provided by Alan Young. One page covers the route and pages covering each of the stations can be accessed from that page. 
- Particularly good for old photographs of the Loop is the Table 38 webpage about the railway. 
The first article about the Micklehurst Loop can be found at:
There is a series of three addenda to that first article which include a series of photographs relating to the first part of the line from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. These can be found on the following links:
Part 2 – Staley & Millbrook Goods Yard to Micklehurst Station
We continue our journey North along the Micklehurst Loop. We start from the Staley and Millbrook Goods Shed which is still standing and which is covered in the articles above. The old loop is still closely following the River Tame and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. On the map extract below the original Staybridge to Huddersfield line can be seen on the left of the map extract.The next map extract is from the 1:25,000 OS Map series and was published in 1951. It shows the Power Station and the much extended railway sidings. The satellite image below shows the same area in the 21st century – woodland has encroached into the area around the goods shed to the South of extract. One remaining length of the coal transfer conveyer bridge has also remained in place, and can be seen immediately to the Northwest of the shell of the goods shed. The remainder of the coal transfer facilities have been removed.
The satellite image, a few images above, shows the alignment of the old railway in red with the relative locations of the remaining span of the coal conveyor and the shell of the goods shed.
Underfoot the ground along the track alignment was in parts waterlogged but we managed to follow it Northwards in January 2021. A couple of images of the site from January 2021 show just how much the woodland has encroached across the site. These pictures were taken on my mobile phone camera.
Heading North from Staley & Millbrook Goods Shed, the old Loop line curved gradually round following the contours of the East side of the Tame Valley. It first curved a little to the West before swinging back to the Northeast.
Opposite Black Rock on the West side of the Tame Valley, there was an accommodation bridge carrying a lane above the Loop. It can be seen towards the bottom of the first OS Map extract below. It appears to have given access to the land between the Loop and the Canal. It appears close to the lettering “Crows i’th’ Wood.”
The accommodation bridge appears on both map extracts below but seems no longer to be in place in the 21st century.
We walked along this section of the line and found no evidence of the bridge or its abutments.
Slightly further up the Tame Valley there were two Cotton Mills – Weir Mill and Scout Mill – both sat on the West bank of the river. Adjacent to Scout Mill was the hamlet of Scout just a short series of terraced houses also sitting on the West bank of the River Tame. Two tunnels were named after the hamlet, one on the main Stalybridge to Huddersfield Line, the other took the Huddersfield Narrow Canal under an outcrop which was used as a quarry. The Micklehurst Loop sat away to the East and after passing under an accommodation bridge curved round through a cutting. That bridge can be seen at the bottom of the map extract below.After the length of cutting the line passed onto an embankment for a short distance before crossing a lane which shows up most clearly on the 1:25,000 Map extract below. The line continued Northeast on embankment. The next image is the only one that I have been able to find of an ‘action shot’ featuring the railway bridge which crosses the lane in the top right of the map extracts when it was in use. It appears on the Google Maps satellite image below as a single abutment on the South side of the lane. The next two photographs are taken from the farm track close to the bridge abutment.
The final two pictures at this ;location are monochrome images from the OS Survey in 1952.Weir Mill: was a Cotton Mill. Its owners were listed as ‘cotton spinners and manufacturers’ in the 1891 Mossley Directory. 
I have not been able to find any older pictures of Weir Mill, so the final image of the mill is a modern satellite image. In 21st century the mill is tenanted out to a number of different organisations, including: The Vault ; Pampered to Pawfection Dog Spa Ltd ; Weir Mill Ranges ; Masquerade Tattoo Studio ; North of Winter; Twenty Five Yards Ltd.
Scout Mill: was also a Cotton Mill. It was owned by John Mayall of Mossley along with Britannia, Southend and Bottom Mills. Together, these mills had 420,000 spindles, they are listed in the 1891 Mossley Directory, and noted by Grace’s Guide as follows: 32’/60′ twist. Pay day second Wed. Telegrams, “Mayall, Mossley.” It is shown in its prime in the monochrome image below.The image above is significant for the view it gives us of the Goods facilities in the middle distance. The large Goods Shed is typical of those built along the Micklhurst Loop . The builders clearly anticipated a significant volume of goods traffic from the mills in Mossley.
The adjacent image is an early photograph showing Scout Mill from the river bank a little to the right of the edge of the image immediately above. Scout tunnel on the mainline can be picked out centre-top in this image. The foot bridge which appears in the foreground of this image can be seen on the 25″ OS Map extract above. 
The next three images show the site of Scout Mill in the 21st century. All are from Google Maps/Google Streetview. Modern structures seem to pale into insignificance alongside those built in the past!
Having explored the buildings in the Tame Valley South of Mossley we return to our walk along the Micklehurst Loop.
To the north of the erstwhile bridge over the lane the route of the line entered thick undergrowth and then encountered the boundary fence of R. Plevin & Sons (wood processing and recycling company). which now occupies the site of the Micklehurst Goods Yard.  Our walking route was, as a result, along the towpath of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. In fact, along the length shown in the next monochrome image.The next extract from the 25″ OS Maps from close to the turn of the 20th century shows Scout Mill and its hamlet of terraced houses in the bottom left. It shows Scout Railway Tunnel on the mainline (to the left of the image) and the sidings to the south of Mossley Station on that line. Across the River Tame and the Canal the widening of railway land has allowed the construction of Micklehurst Goods Shed with a Signal Box to the West immediately adjacent to the Canal. The railway was significantly above the Canal at this point The next two images show OS Survey points being marked at Micklehurst Goods Shed in the 1950s. The second includes the signal cabin which sat above the Canal. The next three images show the location, in February 2021, of the bridge where Holland Street/Crown Hill passed under the railway. These are then followed by the aerial images referred to above.
These three images, all taken from on aerial photograph show the line in 1947, surprisingly devoid of moving traffic. The last of the sequence shows the passenger building of Micklehurst Station devoid of the canopy which cover the entrance to the ticket office. The station platforms which had been removed by 1947 were sited North of the building – off the bottom of the image.
Alan Young on his pages about the line on the ‘Disused Stations’ Website  carries two pictures taken by Jim Davenport which show:
- a northbound goods train passing the Goods Yard in the 1950s with a Stanier-designed Class 8F 2-8-0 locomotive No. 48552 in charge; and,
- A southbound freight, also in the 1950s, pulled by a Fowler F7 0-8-0 locomotive No.49662. The mill in the background of this image is Brunswick Mill.
The line North from Micklehurst Good Yard continued across the westerly extension of what is now Crown Hill which at the time was called Holland Street. The unmade road beneath the bridge provided access to a parcel of land between the canal and the railway which was at one time used as an iron foundry. The road parallel to the line on its East side was (and is) Cheshire Street.
Access to Plevin’s modern site is gained from the junction of Crown Hill and Cheshire Street.
Cheshire Street was flanked on its West side by the railway embankment and on its East side by terraced housing, which is still present in the 2020s. The Micklehurst Loop was carried over Egmont Street adjacent to its junction with Cheshire Street by the first span of a viaduct.
Brunwick Mill stood behind the terraced housing on Cheshire Street. It is long-gone and its site has been redeveloped as a housing estate.
Brunswick Mill was a cotton-spinning mill constructed in 1886/1887. It was finally demolished in 1990.  Its location can be picked out on the extracts from the 25″ OS Maps both above and below. The housing estate which sits on its site is known as ‘The Spindles’.
Mossley had a significant number of mills which we cannot cover in any detail in this article. However, Southend Mill, River Mill and Albert Mill also stood close to this length of the Loop Line and can be seen on the OS Map extracts on the opposite side of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
Southend Mill and River Mill sat adjacent to each other between the River Tame and the Canal. They were owned by John Mayall (along with Bottom Mills just further to the North).
Albert Mill was slightly further to the Southwest along Egmont Street, on the West side of the River Tame.
The River Tame and the Canal threaded their way through what was a heavily industrialised town. Many of the mill buildings have gone. The first monochrome image after the extract from the OS Maps below, gives an impression of what the Micklehurst and Mossley area was like in the early to mid-20th century. The Loop line can be seen at the centre of that image.Two images on the Table 38 Steam Railways Webpage show the arched viaduct span over Micklehurst Road. I cannot be sure of the provenance of those images and so note them here:
- Part of the viaduct over Micklehurst Road, looking West with Station Road on the right just before the span. This picture appears to have been taken as a record of one of the Whit Walks processions;  and,
- The same span looking East. 
The images below show the Southern half of the Viaduct carrying the Loop Line.The next couple of images show the junction between Cheshire Street, Egmont Street and Micklehurst Road in the 20th century.
We finish this leg of the journey at Micklehurst Passenger Station. First with two images courtesy of Alan Young  which he sourced from Tameside Libraries Archives. These are then followed by two modern pictures of the station building which show it as it is today.References
- https://maps.nls.uk, accessed on 31st January 2021.
- https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=17&lat=53.49994&lon=-2.03927&layers=10&b=1, accessed on 9th February 2021.
- http://disused-stations.org.uk/s/staley_and_millbrook/index.shtml, accessed on 9th February 2021.
- https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/incoming/gallery/nostalgia-mill-town-bustling-commuter-10617920, accessed on 10th February 2021.
- https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/479677, accessed on 10th February 2021.
- https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/479680, accessed on 10th February 2021.
- http://disused-stations.org.uk/features/micklehurst_loop/index.shtml, accessed on 25th January 2021.
- https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Weir_Mill_Co, accessed on 10th February 2021.
- https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Scout_Mill,_Mossley, accessed on 10th February 2021.
- https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/1891_Cotton_Mills_in_Mossley, acccessed on 10th February 2021.
- https://www.facebook.com/Thevaultmossley, accessed on 10th February 2021.
- http://www.table38.steamrailways.com/rail/Micklehurst/micklehurst.htm, accessed on 24th January 2021.
- https://www.facebook.com/pamperedtopawfection, accessed on 10th February 2021.
- https://www.gunmart.net/shooting-advice/news/manchester-airguns-are-pleased-to-announce-their-new-indoor-range, accessed on 10th February 2021.
- https://mossley-greater-manchester.cylex-uk.co.uk/company/masquerade-tattoo-studio-26872680.html, accessed on 10th February 2021.
- https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EAW010807, accessed on 20th February 2021.
- https://www.plevin.co.uk/our-sites/mossley-manchester, accessed on 20th February 2021.
- https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EAW010801, accessed on 21st February 2021.
- https://www.uktextilemills.com/brunswick-mill, accessed on 21st February 2021.
- http://www.table38.steamrailways.com/rail/Micklehurst/micklehurst.htm, accessed on 21st February 2021.
- https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EAW010805, accessed on 21st February 2021.
- https://www.facebook.com/TamesideCouncil/photos/looking-back-mossleyan-1890s-view-of-micklehurst-showing-the-railway-arch-over-m/10157158843343376, accessed on 21st February 2021.
- http://disused-stations.org.uk/m/micklehurst/index1.shtml, accessed on 20th February 2021.
- https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4835693, accessed on 10th February 2021.
- https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2463584, accessed on 12th February 2021.
- https://www.timepix.uk/PAGES/Top-Line-navigation-pages/n-5PX4Wc/About, accessed on 11th February 2021.