Your Home, Your Voice, Your Place

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We’d like to extend a huge thank you to all the residents, neighbours and friends of Crossley, Dew Way, Fitton Hill and Primrose Bank for welcoming us into their communities. A special thank you to all the people who generously gave their time to record memories, and create beautiful artwork in response to the theme of ‘home’ and ‘memories’.


Oral Histories: Afsana Aktar Peggy Cooke Sonja Costello Sheila Davis Pauline Morgan-Evans Jubair Khan Delena Knowles Paul Maybury Rose Ogden Joan Moran John Morris Saima Suleman Carol Taylor Michelle Trevor Lesley Turner Filmed Interviews: Scott Anderson and Rose McQuaid, The Ace Tiree Conway Tales from the Hill Reunion - Shirley Almond, Nadine Hetherington, Mark Lowther, Sylvia McDowell, Andy Peacock, Salina Hetherington, Paul Badby, Alison Ronan Creative Contributions: Primrose Art and Craft Group Greenacres Art Group Indian Association Art Group Poetherapy Group Primrose & Crossley Sewing Class John Morris Stephanie & Robin Brown Natasha Booth, Madison & Heidi Green Lucy Peacock Peggy Cooke Linda Harmer

Invaluable Support: Jan Wade, Primrose Centre Naseem Ahmad, Crossley Centre Paul Maybury, Primrose Centre Tahira Khan Nazet Yaqub & Tia Boucher, Fitton Hill Library Andy Fear Nargis Khan Oldham Local Studies and Archives Gallery Oldham William Chitham Hannah Popplewell, MA Student Manchester Metropolitan University Prof Heather Shore, Manchester Metropolitan University Emily Baines, Postgrad Student The University of Manchester Prof Melanie Tebbutt, Manchester Metropolitan University Development Team: Ryan Smith, Great Places Housing Group Paul Doherty, Great Places Housing Group Karen Shannon, Manchester Histories Dr Julian Skyrme, The University of Manchester Production Team: Laura Jones - Artist Katie McKeever - Artist Millie Sheppard - Artist Heather Roberts - Oral Historian Janine Hague - Manchester Histories



Introduction...............................................................................1-2 The Areas..................................................................................3-10 What are Oral Histories?...........................................................11-12 Crossley..................................................................................13-22 Dew Way.................................................................................23-24 Fitton Hill................................................................................25-34 Primrose Bank..........................................................................35-42 Mills and Community................................................................43-44 What does home look like to you?..............................................45-59 Exhibition Launch.....................................................................60-62 Photo Credits and References ...................................................63-66


‘Your Home, Your Voice, Your Place’ is a creative history project celebrating community, home and personal heritage to mark the 10th anniversary of the Gateways to Oldham PFI project. It brings together an incredible collection of artwork and oral histories shared by residents and neighbours of Crossley, Dew Way, Fitton Hill and Primrose Bank. This unique archive of memories, recorded over six months in 2023, is a fascinating legacy for future generations. The recordings will be stored by Manchester Histories and Oldham Local Studies and Archives when their new space is open.

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‘Manchester Histories is delighted to have worked alongside the people of Oldham and Great Places Housing Group to explore the essence of home and place. The power to connect people with their roots and foster a deeper appreciation for local heritage is paramount to understanding ourselves and where we live. Our homes often hold a treasure trove of memories. From childhood to adulthood, people associate their homes with important life events, milestones, and experiences. In this book, we highlight a snapshot of the memories shared by residents to create important links to the past and document


the changes that have taken place, through personal experiences and those of family and ancestors. This book is a testament to the people of Oldham who bring local history to life through creativity and show us the meaning of home and its significance as a cornerstone of human experience.’ -Karen Shannon, CEO Manchester Histories ‘On behalf of Great Places, I am delighted to have worked with Manchester Histories on producing this book. The 10th anniversary of the Gateways to Oldham PFI project is an important milestone not only for Great Places but also for our partners Inspiral, Oldham Council and Wates. From a personal point of view, it has been positive to see how this project has brought together different people from the

four PFI areas. I have particularly been impressed at how the project has given local people the opportunity to learn new skills and increase their awareness and understanding of their heritage and local history. Documenting the memories and stories from residents in this book will ensure they can be shared with future generations. It provides a wonderful insight into the changes that have taken place across Oldham and reminds us how a home is much more than just bricks and mortar. I would like to personally thank everyone who has shared their experiences with us as part of this project and helped us to produce this book.’ -Paul Doherty, Housing Management PFI Manager, Great Places Housing Group

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Crossley was formerly known as Cowhill, an area of scattered dwellings and hamlets in Chadderton. It expanded rapidly during the industrial revolution with new mines, many mills, a railway line and densely built terraced housing changing the landscape dramatically. The Dog Inn, one of the area’s two surviving pubs was first licensed in 1750. It was a meeting point for the peaceful protesters who marched to St Peter’s Field in Manchester on 16 August 1819. Local Cowhill weaver, John Ashton, was one of the 18 victims killed by the militia at what became known as the Peterloo Massacre. He was the standard bearer carrying the demand ‘Taxation without representation is unjust and tyrannical. NO CORN LAWS’.

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The other surviving pub, The Crown, licensed in the 1870s and known locally as the Sump Hole, stood witness to another dramatic event. The ‘Cow Hill Accident’ occurred on 22 April 1907 at Walsh Street bridge when a train owned by the Platt Brothers pulling a dozen wagons ran out of control, crashed into the sidings and shed its wagons into Walsh Street below. The bridge and railway line no longer exist. Crossley saw significant post war housing redevelopment, replacing the terraces with a large estate of maisonettes, flats, houses and high rises. The Gateways to Oldham PFI regeneration scheme in 2011 carried out further redevelopment and built The Crossley Centre as a hub for the local community.


‘The township of Chadderton is in every part much improving, and bids fair to hold a competition with Royton, in a short period of time; the part thereof lying in the vicinity of Sir Thomas Horton’s mansion, and the circumjacent lands around Cowhill are luxurious.’ [James Butterworth 1817]1 4


Dew Way, Westwood, was a green and sparsely populated hillside, North Moor, near the site of the former Westwood House Estate, home of the Duncuft Family and John Duncuft MP (1796-1852). The industrial revolution transformed this rural area into streets of tightly packed terraced housing, homes for a rapidly expanding local population that worked in the local cotton mills. Many of the terraced houses remain today and neighbour the Gateways to Oldham PFI development towards the top of the hill.

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Winston Churchill, whilst MP for Oldham, frequently spoke at the Conservative Club in Westwood. One of Oldham’s remaining cotton mills, Anchor Mill on Daisy Street, built in 1881, ceased production in 1929. A Grade II listed building, it has been repurposed for the 21st century, hosting a huge wedding venue catering for up to 1500 guests, a retail and entertainment centre, and office space.

Eclipse Machine Company, established in 1890 by the Rothwell brothers, was a highly successful sewing machine manufacturer that progressed into the motor car industry. The company was located on the site now occupied by Northmoor Academy. Eclipse closed down in 1920 and one of the very few remaining Rothwell cars is on display in Gallery Oldham.

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Fitton Hill lies two miles outside Oldham, past Primrose Bank towards Hathershaw and Ashtonunder-Lyne. The name originates from the former Fitton Hill Farm; the earliest surviving records note Edmund Fitton as the resident in 1618. Whilst the surrounding neighbourhoods were heavily developed during the industrial revolution with mills, brickworks, pubs and terraced housing, the site of Fitton Hill Estate remained a rural moorland with only a scattering of dwellings and farms. Social housing developments were built on a grand scale during the 1950s and 1960s to accommodate families rehoused from demolished ‘unfit’ Victorian terraces. Fitton Hill Estate was one of these developments, but did not have the same space

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constraints as areas such as Primrose Bank, which was bound by Oldham town centre and several main roads. The estate has completely transformed the historic landscape of the area, and has incredible views across the surrounding areas from its hilltop location.


The Roman Catholic Church of The Holy Rosary was built to serve Fitton Hill residents in 1955. It gained Grade II Listed Building status following a six-year campaign after its closure in 2017 to save a unique 8m-high mural by world renowned Hungarian-Jewish artist, George Mayer-Marton. His other works are held in numerous private collections and public galleries, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum London. 8


Pre-1800s, Primrose Bank was an ancient hamlet to the south of Oldham by Coppice, on the main route to Ashton-under-Lyne. Industrialist John Lees bought the Werneth Estate which included Primrose Bank, and in 1835 built Primrose Mill. This marked the start of urbanisation of this still relatively rural area, with an expansion of the mining and cotton industries bringing a huge number of new workers to the area. Back-to-back terraced housing provided homes for the workers and their families, with housing, shops, pubs and mills lining the main roads to Ashton-under-Lyne, Glodwick Brook and Alexandra Park. In 1933 Primrose Mill was demolished as a result of the 9

decline of the cotton industry. A small section of the building remains standing and is still in use today as a gym. As part of the post-war drive to clear ‘unfit housing’, in 1964 virtually the whole of Primrose Bank was demolished and innovative designs used to create a high density estate of houses, maisonettes and flats. Technical build problems led to a further redevelopment of Primrose Bank in the 1980s, and again in 2011 when 21st century-standard family homes and apartments were built as part of the Gateways to Oldham PFI project. The Primrose Centre was built as part of the scheme and provides a well used community resource.


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Oral history is a method of exploring and communicating events and experiences. It gives a voice to everyone regardless of status or class. All our stories are unique and all are important.

Awan spent her holidays from Pakistan visiting grandparents who lived in a large old house formerly owned by a lord and according to her grandmother, was haunted by two ghostly figures!

Personal histories are gathered through the sharing and recording of memories that often capture lived experiences missed in other forms of historical research. Individual stories that, along with those of the wider community, reveal a shared heritage and connect people in ways that aren’t always obvious.

We learnt about ancestors who were suffragettes, tragic casualties of war, who built successful businesses and about quiet acts of generosity and compassion. We discovered how people had come to settle in the area either as newcomers or from several generations of Oldhamers. All these histories are unique and special and will create an important archive for future generations.

During this project we have heard fascinating, funny and poignant memories through interviews, chatting over cups of tea and making art. Just a few of the many stories include Earnest Longley from Fitton Hill who was stationed on Christmas Island as a young man serving in the forces and witnessed the infamous nuclear weapons tests. Dorothy Sweatman heard a terrific noise outside her top floor flat window in Lansdowne Court and came face to face with the pilot of a huge hot air balloon that had drifted off course. Muna

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Why not interview your family and friends and share your own memories, recording your heritage and community history through your own voice? Manchester Histories website has a free guide to oral history projects to help you get started. www.manchesterhistories.co.uk/ topics-category/toolkits/


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‘Everyone wants a house on Crossley’- Delena Knowles (Crossley)

The Crossley Centre was built as part of the PFI project and opened on 20 September 2014. It is available for local residents and anyone else in Oldham to visit or hire the space. Great Places staff, volunteers and trustees work together to provide a range of activities from Sewing Group, Chair-based Exercise to a Community Fridge.

Embroidery by Lamis Alserri 13


‘I feel like the centre has helped a lot. Like with the people who live here, if the office was far away and they had any concerns about their house, or the council, or anything, they can just straightaway come into the centre here which is really near to them and just speak to anyone and they’ll do their best to help them.

good, basically there were cars everywhere, noisy as it was so close to the roads, and the thing is cars would be parked everywhere and anywhere, it’s a very crowded place. This place is nicer, cleaner… it’s much nicer and more comfortable basically.’ - Afsana Aktar (Crossley)

This area is really good compared to other areas. The last house we lived in the area wasn’t that

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‘It was a good upbringing for my children here’ - Peggy Cooke (Crossley)

- Sonja Costello (Crossley) 15


‘The Roxy Cinema has been knocked down, but everyone still calls the area ‘The Roxy’... You’re giving directions from 10, 15 years ago.’ - Lesley Turner (Crossley)

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‘I remember watching the carnival at Alexandra Park, watching, sat on top of Grandad’s shoulders’ - Michelle Trevor (Crossley)

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‘When we moved in, these trees were just little sticks… they’re massive now, cherry trees’ - Pauline MorganEvans (Crossley)

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‘My earliest memory is of where I’m living now, and where I bought my house - I’ve got the deeds, it said it was on top of a coalmine. It said it was closed off but there’s still coal down there… where my house is now and the school used to be where they put the slag heaps.’ ‘Behind Denton Lane was a row of allotments. They kept ducks, they kept pigs, they kept hens… it was like walking down to a farm. Now behind that was a farm that went right over to Broadway and we used to go and play in the farmer’s field, well until he could see us, then if he turned his cows out, we were warned not to go 19

near his cows. Well, I mean the cows used to come near us, never mind that! That was my play area all round here and then the council announced they were going to build up round where we lived. So they did the road, and then they built up right down to Eaves Lane, facing the Raven, round at the back they did Fold Green, the farmer sold his field, so they did Fold Green area, then they did us over the coal pit hills. The other side of the estates over where used to be the tip.’ - Joan Moran (Crossley)


‘As soon as the king died when we were kids, they went round collecting round here (for the coronation) and we had a massive party. It poured down all day, but we had a massive party. There was only one house on the street that had a television, and we all went in there, all sat on the floor,

buffets, everyone bringing a chair, come in and we all watched it in this house. We had a massive, big bonfire - the bonfire was so big that they had to die it down as it was blistering the paintwork on the houses.’ - Joan Moran (Crossley)

‘I remember my husband coming to visit me [in the maternity ward] and saying I’ve got a new house. “Where is it?” “It’s on Crossley Estate”. “Where’s that?” I’d never heard of Crossley Estate. He says “Don’t worry, don’t worry, this is

only temporary.” I said oh alright then. So when I came, when he brought me here, there was nothing - there was no roads, no houses. Nothing!’ - Rose Ogden (Crossley) 20


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‘There’s been a community fridge set up here, and that’s helping people with the cost of living crisis… Naseem said they have about 26 people coming in every week for food, and it’s food that will normally go to landfill, food that is still good. It helps people to take the shopping bill down.’ - Sonja Costello (Crossley) 22


Jubair Khan takes pride in his new home in Dew Way. The whole family helps to keep it clean and presentable. ‘I like tidying my house, so it’s nice to look at.’ ‘My neighbours are all very nice… When I first moved in I didn’t know any of them, but slowly I talked to them and now we all know each other’s families.’ He thinks it’s important to be a role model for younger members of the community: ‘I tell my wife that if any kids come and are playing here, give them drink, sweets, what I’ve got in my house. Don’t just give it to our kids. So now they come inside and say “Auntie! I need one drink”, “Auntie I need one sweet!” So in the summertime I bought some trays of bottled drinks and she told my son to take a case outside for the kids to drink.’ 23


(Above) One of Oldham’s remaining cotton mills, Anchor Mill on Daisy Street, built in 1881, ceased production in 1929. A Grade II listed building, it has been repurposed for the 21st century, hosting a huge wedding venue catering for up to 1500 guests, a retail and entertainment centre, and office space.

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‘Nazet and Tia, at the library, I call them two my two younger sisters, they’ve been so good to me’ - John Morris (Fitton Hill) 26


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‘My parents were told they could move into the property that had just been built, on Fitton Hill, but the roads and paths weren’t made up yet, it was cinder... The house itself had pink plaster walls, and my dad and mum were told, you must not decorate the walls because they’re still drying out.’ - Sheila Davies (Fitton Hill)


‘This pub is the centre of the community for Fitton Hill. Basically it’s the middle of the hub, middle of the wheel. We’ve had this pub for three years but we’ve lived on this estate all our lives so we’ve grown up with these people... We actually live four doors down so this is like native to us. But it’s all about grassroots, it’s all about giving back to the people that give to us.’ - Scott Anderson and Rose McQuaid (Fitton Hill) 28


The Ace pub, managed by landlords Scott Anderson and Rose McQuaid, is a friendly, community focused pub at the heart of Fitton Hill. Scott and Rose are Fitton Hill born and bred and took over management of The Ace three years ago, since then they have transformed the venue into a welcoming meeting place for local people. They are passionate about the neighbourhood, and regularly host events to bring people together. Each St George’s Day, Scott, Rose and a dedicated team of volunteers put on a special day of food, bingo and live entertainment for their elderly neighbours and residents of a local residential home.

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‘I think the youth club was a bit like somewhere for any child to go and they knew that they were wanted’ - Shirley Almond (Fitton Hill) 31


Alison Ronan, Youth Worker Fitton Hill 1991 - 1995 Tales from the Hill was created by an intergenerational group based in Fitton Hill Youth Club in the mid 1990s. It was part of a series of creative projects initiated by the Detached Youth Project working with bored young people on the estate as part of a much larger Anti-Racist project in Oldham. The programme included a photographic project ‘The Map is not the Territory’, a project on The Green where residents created murals for their balconies and held a summer fair with a huge sand pit and fairground, and encouraged young people to write and record their own songs. Through discussions with the young and some of the older people involved about life on Fitton Hill, the idea of making a

play was born. Everyone worked on the script with a professional writer, a composer and a director. The youth club became a theatre, with potted palm trees, a nonalcoholic bar and tables and chairs set out in cabaret style. One performance was at Oldham Coliseum. The cast could hardly believe that! There were unexpected outcomes. One boy realised he needed to go back to school if he wanted to be able to read/learn his lines. Teachers who came to see the play were astonished by the creativity of their ‘difficult’ pupils. The young cast were often stopped in the street by older neighbours and complimented. Everyone learnt something about themselves, about working together and appreciating each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Also - it was great fun!

Andy Peacock with daughter, Lucy. 32


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Salina Hetherington, Nadine Hetherington, Shirley Almond & Paul Badby with photographs of their younger selves. 34


- Paul Maybury (Primrose Bank)

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‘The Primrose Community Centre was built as part of the Oldham PFI project. It opened in January 2014 and is for not only the local community to use but for anyone in Oldham. We have a Board of Trustees and a team of volunteers who help run the centre and organise activities and events. And what kind of activities happen in the Primrose Centre? We have a wide variety of activities running at the centre from education and training, awareness sessions, health and wellbeing, support groups, exercise classes, arts and crafts and a youth club.’ - Jan Wade (Primrose Bank)

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‘It’s nice to live in a society with variety’ -Saima Suleman (Primrose Bank) 37


‘I worked in nightclubs for years… I worked in The Astoria, The Cat’s Whiskers, down at Mumps… behind the bar, behind the food, I did all the stage lighting, sound effects… I was a bouncer as well, on the door, in evening dress’ - Carol Taylor (Primrose Bank)

‘What makes a good neighbour? People that talk, help each other, or go out of their way to see that people are alright…My neighbours look after me… my husband died last year, they couldn’t do enough to help me’ -Carol Taylor (Primrose Bank) 38


Poetherapy is a ladies’ weekly support group at The Primrose Centre led by Peaceful Minds CIC, whose aim is to empower positive healing. The organisation provides multilingual counselling, family therapy, group and individual therapy sessions, coaching and training, to help all community members with attaining positive mental and physical health.

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Poetherapy is led by Therapist and Practitioner Skina Hussain, whose creativity and compassion is clearly an inspiration to the group. We were welcomed into the sessions, shared food, conversation and beautiful poetry. The group created and recorded a poem in Urdu and English in response to the theme of ‘home’ and ‘memories’, as well as crocheted a blanket for the exhibition.


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Volunteers of the Primrose Centre and Women’s CHAI Project organised an Afternoon Tea fit for a king! The event brought friends and neighbours together from around Primrose Bank and Crossley to join in art and craft activities and feast on delicious food prepared by a hardworking and dedicated team of volunteers from the centre. Guest speakers included Debbie Abrahams MP, Mayor of Oldham Cllr Elaine Garry, and founder of the CHAI project, Najma Khalid MBE.

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‘Everyone enjoyed the event and it was great to see different groups of ladies meeting together and getting to know each other. It’s so important to have places like the Primrose Centre as a community hub where people can learn new skills, enjoy trying different activities, grow in confidence and make new friends.’ - Jan Wade (Primrose Bank) 42


Hannah Popplewell, MA student Manchester Metropolitan University The north of England is commonly associated with images of heavy industry. The industrial revolution was crucial to the northern sense of place; some argue it was the making of the English working class. Oldham was the heart of industry in the production of cotton and textiles which made finding a job particularly easy. Once one of the wealthiest towns in the world, employment in the mills peaked at more than 50,000 at the beginning of the twentieth century. Northern identities in towns such as Oldham included qualities of independence, dignity of labour, and solidarity both at work and within the community. People made connections and friends by going to work in the mills, which created a strong sense of community. Crossley resident,Peggy Cooke, spoke about her relationship with the mills through her husband working in textiles, and her mother, father and sister working in Clough Mill. Peggy remembers going out with her friends, who all had more money because they worked in the mills, so she decided she would work in the mills too: ‘it was hard work but good’. When Peggy worked in the mills, she didn’t know anyone from the estate: ‘you 43

worked all day and then came home to make your family tea’. This shows how working in the mills was a crucial part of being in the Oldham community; it was how you got to know people. Michelle Trevor did not grow up in Oldham but she remembers visiting her grandmother during the Oldham Wakes in the 1980s. This was a week (or two) in which many industrial towns would close down factories to give working-class families a chance to have cheaper holidays and get away from the smog and to reduce pollution. In some areas, fairs and entertainment would come to the towns for those who were not fortunate enough to get away. Again, showing this sense of community through the mills, an opportunity for people to get together in a more relaxed environment as the majority of people in the town would not be at work. ‘The gaiety and bustle of the Wakes is epitomised on Tommyfield and the Green. A large variety of mechanical amusements- chairaplanes, horses, dragons- whirls round the holiday-maker to the accompaniment of communal laughter and din…’ [1929 The Manchester Guardian]2


(Above) Dorothy Sweatman, one of the first residents in Lansdowne Court where she still lives, stands to the right of her Aunt Martha Ann who is celebrating her retirement at the age of 75 from Chamber Mill, known locally as Th’Owd Bog. The mill manager remarked that she’d never taken a day off work.

(Above) Queue outside Yelloways Coach Depot on the corner of Regent Street and Mumps during Oldham Wakes, 1953.

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An incredible collection of artwork was submitted by creative individuals and members of local art and craft groups in response to a call out for special memories of Oldham and ideas about the personal meaning of home. With special thanks to the people who submitted their pieces individually, and also from the following groups: Primrose and Crossley Sewing Group, Primrose Art and Craft Group, Greenacres Art Group, The Indian Association Art Group.

Crochet Home Blanket. ‘‘A blanket is a comfort for me. I’ve got anxiety, depression and arthritis and crocheting helps me’ - Poetherapy Group Member 45


‘Home is’ Poem - John Morris (Fitton Hill)

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Digital Image - Poetherapy Group member (Primrose Bank)

Knitted cardigan - Peggy Cooke (Crossley) 47


Mixed media collages - Stephanie and Robin Brown, Natasha Booth, Madison & Heidi Green (Fitton Hill)

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Pencil portrait of her dad - Lucy Peacock (Fitton Hill)

‘My Garden View’ watercolour painting - Linda Harmer (Fitton Hill) 49


Collage work - created by children at Fitton Hill Library. 50


Responses from Fitton Hill Junior Youth Club 51


‘I’ve lived in Oldham my whole life, since I was born. I grew up on Fitton Hill. When I was a baby, my mum was in a Mum’s group and from there they developed a Youth Centre and from then on I have volunteered my whole life. We try and help vulnerable kids and any kids to get off the street and to have a safe space to do arts, sports, make friends and potentially make a bond for life with someone. Basically to keep a safe space. Oldham, when I was younger, was a lot more violent. Since growing up I feel like crime is going down. It’s becoming a lot safer but the youths have got a lot more dangerous, they’re being exposed to a lot more stuff that is not safe for them. I love seeing kids happy and enjoying life and them actually getting to have a childhood rather than dealing with the hard stuff.’ - Youth Club Volunteer Tiree Conway (Fitton Hill)

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Greenacres Art Group is an informal art class that meets in Greenacres Community Centre, led by artist and art tutor Andy Fear.

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The Indian Association Art Group is an informal art class that meets in The Indian Association Oldham, led by artist and art tutor Andy Fear.

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Primrose Art and Craft Group meets in The Primrose Centre and covers a range of art and craft activities, the art group is led by artist and art tutor Andy Fear. 57


‘Our Memories of Oldham’ The Primrose Art and Craft Group is our space to come together, to relax and switch off from worries, everyone is so friendly and welcoming. We usually do our own individual projects but this collaboration has brought us all together. It’s been absolutely wonderful, everyone has gone above and beyond and it’s surprised a lot of us about what we’ve been able to achieve, it’s come together beautifully! We started with a discussion about memories of Oldham and we thought about images that brought strong memories for us individually and as a group. We talked about what is important to us, shared memories of our childhood, our favourite places and what makes us feel connected to this area and Oldham as a whole.

Artists: Tahira Khan, Nasra Hampshire, Sonja Costello, Lesley Turner, Begum Luthfa Kashem, Nabeeha Kashem, Dawn Stewart, Roohi Siddiqi, Steve Wade, Jan Wade, Paul Maybury, Rukhsana Shakil, Grace Hatton, Diane Sirisambhand, Muna Awan. 58


Members of the Primrose Sewing Class and Fitton Hill Library users contributed to this beautiful textile representation of Alexandra Park, Oldham’s first public park which opened on 28 August 1865. It was named to commemorate the marriage of the Prince of Wales to Princess Alexandra of Denmark. The park was built by cotton workers who were unemployed due to the blockade of seaports during the 1861 American Civil 59

War which meant raw cotton was unavailable. Alexandra Park was mentioned many times by residents who took part in the oral history recording sessions as an important community place to them throughout their life, as a space to play, relax, enjoy nature and meet friends and family.


The Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Zahid Chauhan, welcomed 80 guests to the opening of Your Home, Your Voice, Your Place exhibition at Gallery Oldham on Saturday 16 September. Over 60 paintings, sketches, textile pieces, poetry and film created a vibrant and celebratory backdrop to the event.

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Quote from Michelle Trevor (Crossley)

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Quote from Saima Suleman (Primrose Bank)

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Front Pages - Original Victoria Market Hall, image courtesy of Oldham Local Studies and Archives -Tommyfield Market in the 1960s, courtesy of Oldham Local Studies and Archives Contents Page - Cooling Towers Demolition, images courtesy of Ken Hague - Daisy St from Featherstall Rd North, Anchor Mill, image courtesy of Oldham Local Studies and Archives Page 3 - Housing Demolition, images courtesy of Peggy Cooke Page 4 - Ordnance Survey 1922 reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland - Ref 1 - James Butterworth. An historical and descriptive account of the town and parochial chapelry of Oldham, in the County of Lancaster. (1817) Page 5 -Westwood Moravian Church Whit Walk, 1920s by Congretation member, https:// commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Westwood_Whit_Walk.jpg - Ordnance Survey 1922 reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland Page 6 - West St during demolition, Image courtesy of Oldham Local Studies and Archives Page 7 65

- Ashton Rd, image courtesy of Oldham Local Studies and Archives Page 8 - Ordnance Survey 1922 reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland - Deanshut, image courtesy of Oldham Local Studies and Archives Page 9 - Tower Blocks UK: Oldham Primrose Bank Redevelopment Area, n8- 22.jpg by Miles Glendinning is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Page 10 - Ordnance Survey 1922 reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland - Primrose Bank / Ashton Rd, image courtesy of Oldham Local Studies and Archives Page 12 - The new Crossley Centre, image courtesy of Peggy Cooke Page 16 - ‘Roxy Cinema’ by David Simpson https://cinematreasures.org/ theaters/13439/photos/134333 Page 17 - Oldham - Alexandra Park small lake” by Diego Sideburns is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Page 27 - Dowry St Fitton Hill, image courtesy of Oldham Local Studies and Archives Pages 31 & 33 - Tales from the Hill, images


courtesy of Alison Ronan Page 43 - Ref 2 - The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959). (The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959); Manchester (UK) - ProQuest) Page 44 - Dorothy Sweatman, image courtesy of Dorothy Sweatman and Sylvia Hague - Queue for the Yelloways coaches, image courtesy of Oldham Local Studies and Archives Pages 58- 62 - Exhibition images by Jonathan Keenan Photography Page 66 -Hartford Mill 2008, image courtesy Chris Allen - Hartford Mill, Nearly Gone 2023, image courtesy of Chris Allen Back Page -West Street, image courtesy of Oldham Local Studies and Archives.

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Contact info@manchesterhistories.co.uk if you are interested in working with us in your community. www.manchesterhistories.co.uk Contact customerhub@greatplaces.org.uk www.greatplaces.org.uk ©Manchester Histories 2023


We have made every effort to ensure that the information in this book was correct at the time of printing. We apologise for any errors or omissions.


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