Greenfield Paper Mill was owned by Robert Fletcher’s and was a dominant presence in the village. The location of the mill, in an otherwise very rural corner, and the large amount of other land owned allowed the company to develop private housing and leisure facilities. These latter included tennis courts and a bowling green and as the facilities were grouped around the private road leading to the mill from the Clarence Hotel, a very pleasant environment was created.
The Paper Mill was served by peak hour journeys on the 154 (Ashton to Uppermill), but its more interesting service was a contract working that served Mossley, Grotton, Lees and Oldham. This worked in accordance with shift changes at 0600, 1400 and 2200 hours and must have been unique for a contract working as it was worked by three operators! SHMD did the 0600 shift (or at least I believe so, never being up in time to see it). Oldham did the 1400 shift and North Western did the 2200 one. This service was allocated the number 860 from 2nd December 1973, although not always carried.
The service lasted until the 1990s when Checkmate Mini Coaches worked the service, which they did until the closure of the mill around 2002.
In later years a journey on the 180 was extended from Greenfield Clarence to the Paper Mill and this also continued until the closure. It didn’t make the trip every day and I suspect (from observation) that it did not often have many, or any, passengers. The fare for the journey appears in the fare tables from 1983 but it was not until 1989 that it appeared in public timetables.
To show the full extent of workings to the mill, I have duplicated some photographs which appear in other collections.
© David Beilby