Sunday 24th April 2022

Stannybrook Rd, Failsworth, Oldham, Manchester M35 9WJ

I tried to go to Dovestone Reservoir on Sunday but ended up taking a detour. I didn’t get up early enough and the bus to the reservoir wasn’t very frequent so I decided on a change of plan. Daisy Nook Country park was a half hour walk from Ashton under Lyne interchange, so I set off.

It was good weather, and Daisy Nook was a very pleasant place to explore on a day like this. There were quite a few families out, and lots of dogs. The park reminded me in its layout of Clayton Vale. Both sites seem to have main paths surrounded by forest, and lots of smaller paths leading in different directions.

I was quite impressed by the amount of wild garlic growing, and the scent was pungent. I also spotted quite a few bluebell patches, so it definitely felt like spring. The wildlife was flourishing, in the form of many birds.

I sat down on a bench in front of what I believe was Sammy’s Basin to have lunch and watch the ducks. I started to feel quite lethargic and lacking in energy. At the time I thought I was just tired and getting hay fever. Turns out I was ill (not COVID) and had to take the next two days off!

Despite the turn of events, I had a very peaceful time at Daisy Nook, it’s a place that I’ve wanted to go to for a while.   

Once I had recovered from my flu, I started researching the rich industrial history of Daisy Nook. The park holds many stories! The name came about from a poet called Ben Brierley, who wrote about a fictional park and called it Daisy Nook. His artist friend Charles Potter used Waterhouses as a reference when depicting the place Ben had wrote about. After that, the area was always known as Daisy Nook. The park seemed to inspire some notable artists, because L.S Lowry depicted a scene in one of his paintings.

I stumbled across the Manchester History Revisited Facebook page, to find some vintage photographs of the annual Daisy Nook fair. Unfortunately, no date is given, but I distinctly remember fair music playing during my own visit, so it’s still going strong!

Finally, there is the legend of the Crime lake boggart. I’m a little unclear on what this boggart was supposed to do, apart from shining a light in people’s faces… but a band called the Oldham Tinkers performed a song called ‘the Crime lake boggart’, which can be found on Spotify.

Links to the websites are listed below.

Lowry, Laurence Stephen; Lancashire Fair, Good Friday, Daisy Nook; Government Art Collection;
Boodle Forest


Happy walking!