Oldham Through Time – Part 1
Join us as we take a look back at Oldham through the years and see how iconic buildings and places have changed.
The Lancashire town of Oldham was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution and among the first ever industrialised towns in England. At its peak it was the most productive cotton spinning mill town in the world, producing more cotton than France and Germany combined. It was not until the last quarter of the 18th century that Oldham changed from being a cottage industry township producing woollen garments via domestic manual labour to a sprawling industrial metropolis of textile factories.
The town’s population was greatly increased by the mass migration of workers from outlying villages, resulting in an explosion from just over 12,000 in 1801 to 137,000 in 1901. At its peak, in 1928, there were more than 360 mills, operating night and day but Oldham’s textile industry fell into decline in the mid-20th century and the town’s last mill closed in 1998. Today, Oldham is a predominantly residential town, and a centre for further education and the performing arts.
Over the next few upcoming months courtesy of the new book Oldham Through Time by Steven Dickens we’ll be sharing a few of these remarkable changes through a fascinating series of images of the town over the last century and a half.
Oldham Mumps, c. 1920 – This photograph looks away from Oldham Town Centre and Rhodes Bank and towards the impressive, and then new bank building, in the centre of the image. Behind the buildings on the right-hand side was Oldham Mumps railway station, which is now Oldham Mumps Metrolink tram stop. The buildings to the right are no longer standing, with some of those on the left remaining. The railway bridge, which crossed the road beyond the bank, has now also gone.
About the author – Steven John Dickens has a BA. Hons in History (Sheffield University) and an MA in Twentieth Century
History (Liverpool University) and is a retired charge nurse and college lecturer. He has always had an interest in local history and social history and has also lectured on the history of the NHS. He has previously written for several local history publications, genealogy journals and magazines; including The Manchester Genealogist and The Journal of the Altrincham History Society.
Oldham Through Time : £14.99, available now in all good book stores. Also available on Kindle, Kobo and iBook formats. Any purchases through their website gets a 10% discount https://www.amberley-books.com/oldham-through-time.html
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