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Peel Monument, Holcombe Tower

Just sold a canvas of this image on (

I remember this shoot quite vividly. It was commissioned by Peel Land and Property in December 2014. Peel Monument itself, also known as Holcombe Tower, is sat atop Holcombe Hill overlooking the town of Ramsbottom. As with most shoots of this type, I decided to go and do a pre-shoot reconnaissance mission of the area, looking at access etc. The hill itself was much higher than I initially thought it would be and decided that, despite the many routes up to the monument by foot, walking up to it with the kit I'd need was going to be very rough going (for someone so unfit!). I did discover a couple of 'prohibited access' roads that, looking at GoogleMaps, seemed to take you up to the monument. I subsequently got in touch with Bury council and asked if it was possible to allow me access. A couple of days later, and a small fee paid, a bit of paper arrived through the post granting me access.

A Ford Focus is NOT designed to go on those (looseley termed) roads. How it got up there in one piece is a miracle in itself. People watching agog, fell walkers I passed I smiled at, dog walkers I waved to, looked on is sheer amazement as this shambolic sight trundled past them. It's fair to say, I was shaken and stirred by the time I'd reached the monument itself.

Knowing that I was going to stay late to get some long exposure shots, I feared how on earth I was going to get back down in the dark! However, I did note that the nice chap from Bury council mentioned that there was two routes up - I decided to take the 'other' route back down. Mistake. It was horrendous and remember thinking that, at any moment, something would finally kill poor old Ford Focus and I'd be on the front page of the Ramsbottom Weekly - "Idiot photographer takes a small family car up Holcombe Hill"

Another thing that amazed me. Whilst up there, being exposed to the elements (it was December) doing some 60 one minute exposures - people on cycles kept riding past me. What's that about - are they stark raving mad - the 'roads' are barely walkable, certaintly hardly drivabloe, but here are these nutters, riding bikes in the dead of night up this hill. Crackers. All of them.

For info, Ford Focus is behind the monument in this shot.

Ford Focus continues on to this day. Just!

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Dave Yeaman Photography
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