Farmers clear streets of snow

Date published: 02 March 2018

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Taming the ‘Beast from the East’, local farmers have taken to clearing the streets of snow.

Farmers Elliot Eaton Greenwood and Stewart Greenwood have been driving up and down the streets of the borough over the last couple of days in a yellow JCB and blue tractor, ensuring the roads are clear.

In addition to pulling people from the snow, Stewart has pulled two cars that became stuck in snowdrifts in Wardle and Little Clegg. 

Since 7am on Thursday (1 March), they have cleared several roads, including Branch Road, Wordsworth Crescent, Little Clegg and Laurels Drive. The duo even cleared Wildhouse Lane, ensuring passage for the council gritter, and will also be clearing the roads up at Whittaker Golf Club on Blackstone Edge and Pike House Lane.

Stewart's partner, Lisa, said: "We do not mind doing it. People are so appreciative of them doing this."

The farmers have a track record of helping out the local community, as they were also hands on during the Boxing Day floods a few years ago.

Resident Natalie Lanyon said: “This farmer is an absolute legend. This is the fifth time he has been up and down clearing our road. As a community, we need to ensure he’s formally recognised. I think it’s the same guy who spent all of Thursday clearing Wildhouse Lane.”

Marc Bridge said: “Could we put our hands together for the village of Milnrow for helping the people stuck on the M62?”

Pam Whiteley added: “It was absolutely amazing how everyone came together in Milnrow. I think there were a lot of unsung heroes yesterday, pushing vehicles, taking supplies etc. Well done to our little villages.”

Nurse Lisa Clarke said: “A massive thank you to the guy in his blue tractor for clearing all the snow off Wordsworth Crescent, he is an actual hero. From a very appreciative nurse who has got to work safely.”

Suellen Lawn-Docker said: “Everyone did an excellent job in rescuing people, redirecting traffic that was crawling from one closed road to another and providing much needed supplies to the hundreds stuck out there. It has been a long, long night. It was absolutely manic . Well done to all that helped.”

Bev Howarth commented: “Well done human kindness. I still love Rochdale always loved here and respect my town and surrounding villages and people. Big thank you to all the men on the entrance to Westmoreland Drive who cleared the road. Rochdale folk shine though again.”

It was not just the farmers, as one resident reported carers going out of their way to ensure a housebound patient in Littleborough received his medication.

Janna May said: “My brother Ian is disabled and house bound; yesterday his carers found a way to get to him in this challenging weather. The district nurse walked quite a distance to make sure he had his medication as usual, the doctor visited, his prime carer drove through horrendous road conditions to get to the supermarket for his weekly shop. I want to say a big thank you to these lovely people for their support and dedication.”

The adverse weather has stranded a number of people across the borough. On Thursday (1 March), a large section of the M62 was closed, leaving people stuck in their cars for over nine hours. On Friday (2 March), the Army was called in to help rescue stranded motorists on the M62 as the closure in both directions between Milnrow and Huddersfield remains indefinitely.

Police have confirmed that Huddersfield Road in Rochdale, Wildhouse Lane and the A58 still remain closed.

A number of emergency shelters have opened at Butterworth Hall in Milnrow (New Street, OL16 3PE), The Flying Horse Hotel (37 Packer Street, Town Centre, Rochdale, OL16 1NJ), and Tesco (Silk Street, Rochdale OL11 3ER).

Newhey County Primary School, Hawthorne Lane, Newhey is also understood to have opened its doors to the stranded drivers, offering food and drink.

Yellow and Amber warnings in place and police are warning people not to drive this morning unless it is absolutely essential.

Farmer Stewart Greenwood clearing snow on Wardle Fold. Video: Becky Hilton
©Becky Hilton

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