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what's happening in Oldham


Updates & Additions to the Branch Pages HERE
& Branch Meetings - Programme Page  HERE

Family and Local History Articles

Our numerous articles, on ancestry and local history, are scattered through the Branch pages so, to help you find the ones you might find most interesting, the Gallery page is HERE; the Video page HERE; the Research/Local Interest page HERE is going to serve as our 'Pictorial Index' page, where you can follow a link directly to an article that catches your interest. The Society BLOG is a rich and varied source of articles.

Our monthly Oldham & District newsletter

No need to be a member ... it also keeps us up to date with articles, a postbag, news of 'what's on', and much more. You can sign up to receive a monthly digital copy (to read on-line or download) or you can visit the Newsletter Archives to 'pick and mix'! Newsletter, where you can find a link to the 'Snippets' page which lists archived newsletter content: Articles, Transcriptions & Gallery. 

A message from Linda Richardson:

As you may know, I have recently stepped down as Branch Chairman in order to move to Shropshire to be with family.
The Branch Committee now seek to elect a new Chairman to take over that role. In the meantime, to ensure the smooth running of the Oldham & District Branch through to the Annual Members Meeting in March/April next year, Jan Costa (secretary) and Gill Melton (treasurer) will share the responsibilities of the chairman's office.

Below is an outline of what the role entails:
Chairperson job description
* Chair committee meetings which are held every other month
* Answer email queries and/or send on as necessary to Oldham Local Studies or other appropriate organisation
* Represent Oldham Branch on Executive Committee meetings held in Central Library Manchester 5 or 6 times per year, and prepare a report about what has happened (if anything) at the Oldham Branch for those meetings
* Host, introduce and thank speaker at the Oldham meetings.
* There are other things I do on a voluntary basis that are not part of the Chairman's job. I do like to help out with the other things that go towards organising the meetings and setting up the room beforehand but this is not compulsory.
* Transport the leaflet stands, etc., to and from the meetings.
If you are curious to know more about the office, or wish to propose yourself, then please contact us through the email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Updates & Additions to the Branch Pages in 2023

* 2023-11 Downloadable .pdf copy of the 2024 Programme of Branch Meetings, HERE on the Miscellany Page (this is an edited copy for better reading/printing than originally uploaded)

* 2023-08 Oldham's Lost Fossil Forest - contributed Ken Stanley.
Considered the 'wonder of Europe', it was first discovered in 1879 and then virtually disappeared from history. In 1980, Oldham man, Ken Stanley, resolved to find out more. Read 19th century newspaper reports of its discovery in 1879 and the results of Ken's research. HERE
also linked from the Pictorial Index

* 2023-07 'A Tale of Two Cities - Manchester Revisited' by Julie Schwethelm.
The story of a visit to Manchester, in 2023, from her home in Germany ... a story of rediscovery, of old memories, and new ones to be made. It is illustrated with 24 of Julie's photographs. Read it HERE
also linked from the Pictorial Index and from the Gallery Collections

* 2023-07 In response to an Oldham & District Branch monthly meeting,  'Crime City: Manchester's Victorian Underworld' and the mention of the gangs of 'scuttlers', we have been sent the story of Wright Whitehead and a case from his career in Manchester Police, in Ancoats. also linked from the Pictorial Index

* 2023-06 Charges on the Turnpike at Todmorden and Platt Lane, Saddleworth
Contributed by Mike Smith.
a downloadable .pdf from the Miscellany Page, June 2023

* 2023-05 a new video added to the video menu page, entitled The British Tiffany Windows
An illustrated presentation given by Douglas Jackson at the Branch Meeting in May

* 2023-04 1799 ... residents of Oldham town centre who might be considered for the Militia in the case of French Invasion
a downloadable .pdf from the Miscellany Page , April 2023, and the Pictorial Index Page

* 2023-04 Link to 'Oldhamers at the Battle of Waterloo, in 1815' & others (not from Oldham) who were in the 15th Hussars and present at Peterloo in 1819. Service record and other details.
Contributed by Edward Butt.
a downloadable .pdf from the Miscellany Page, April 2023.

* 2023-03 Link to transcription
 From: 'Women's Suffrage : A Record of The Women's Suffrage Movement in the British Isles' with Biographical Sketches Of Miss Becker, by Helen Blackburn Pub. in 1902
a downloadable .pdf from the Miscellany Page, March 2023.

* 2023-03 In the Miscellany Pages - downloadable .pdf, the 1895 Register of People Entitled to Vote in St. Paul's Ward, Oldham. Also linked from the Pictorial Index Page

* 2023-03 a new story in 'Murders and other Criminal goings-on in Oldham' in the Project Pages ... The Attempted Murder of Hannah Hall in 1840

* 2023-03 In the Project Pages and also linked from the Pictorial Index ...
The People Who Built Alexandra Park, Oldham – A Review of the Minutes of the Parks Committee and Other Sources
by Gillian McCarthy

* 2023-02 Link to 'The Election of a Councillor, Coldhurst Ward, 1922'. from an illustrated presentation given by Jeremy Sutcliffe and added to Family and Local History Articles on the 'Oldham Historical Research Group' Website.

* 2023-02 In the Project Pages ... a transcription of the 88 pages in the 'Oldham Education Week - May 1925, 'Handbook. It includes 33 photographs and 5 tables. 
* Part 1
* Part 2
* Gallery

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Updates & Additions to the Branch Pages in 2022

* 2022-10 new video added, 'Iron Men and Wooden Ladders' - A History of Oldham County Borough Fire Brigade; an Illustrated presentation given by Mark Beswick, author of the book of that title.

* 2022-09 a new story in the Project 'Murders and other Criminal goings-on in Oldham' ... December 1905 - The Murder of Kate Garrity

* 2022-09 new video added, "Megavolts and Milliamps : Ferranti at the cutting edge of electric power and electronics"
an illustrated presentation given by Hattie Lloyd & Jan Hicks, from the Science & Industry Museum, Manchester.
This talk was the regular, free, monthly meeting, of the Oldham Historical Research Group, on zoom and part of the 2022 programme for the annual 'Oldham Histories Festival and Heritage' talks.

* 2022-09 Link to Transcription of 'WORDS OF A LEADER': Being Extracts from the Writings of the late Miss Lydia Becker.'
Published by the Central Society for Women's Suffrage, 2nd edition, 1904

* 2022-08 Link to Transcription of 'Lydia Becker - A Cameo Life-Sketch' by Marion Holmes, 1912, published by The Women's Freedom League, downloadable as a .pdf in 'Research/Miscellany'

* 2022-07 Projects Page Railways Project updated with diagrams and more information.

* 2022-07 new video added, 'Oldham RLFC - Then and Now' given by Michael Turner

* 2022-05 two new stories in the Project 'Murders and other Criminal goings-on in Oldham' ...
Feb 21st 1920, headline  'GHASTLY CRIME – A little girl outraged and murdered'
and 28th July 1913, headline 'Oldham Tradesman Murdered - Arrested Youth's Alleged Statement'

* 2022-05 new video added, Womens' War Interest Committee in Manchester in WW1 given by Dr. Alison Ronan

* 2022-03 Link to new Project 'Murders and other Criminal goings-on in Oldham

* 2022-03 Link to WW1 Oldham Doctor, Catherine Payne, added to Family and Local History Articles on the 'Oldham Historical Research Group' Website.

* 2022-03 Gallery Page updated with the 'Oldham Link with Russia' photos and postcards.

* 2022-02 Projects Page  A new and on-going research project about the Coming of the Railway to Oldham. A wide range of research will take in the lives and stories of the men involved and a history of the railway line itself. Take a look at the introductory page.

* 2022-01 Video page changed to Video Menu Page with links to a page of videos uploaded in 2021, and one to 2022.
New video uploaded ... 'Northerners from the Ice Age to the 21st Century' given by Brian Groom.

* 2022-01 Meetings Page updated with full programme for 2022

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Updates & Additions to the Branch Pages in 2021

* 2021-11-26 Index to the Alan Godfrey Maps of Greater Manchester and Oldham ... Added to the Family and Local History Page linking to Articles on the 'Oldham Historical Research Group' Website. 

* 2021-11-02 Snippets from the Monthly Oldham & District Newsletter
Links to a selection of Articles, Transcriptions and Gallery in the archived 'Owls' newsletters.

* 2021-10-14 St. Paul's Methodist Church, Shaw Links to :
Details of over 400 Burials, History, the 150th Anniversary Booklet, Gallery of Pictures, 1920 fundraising Autograph Book of WW1 soldiers, and List of Ministers from 1791.

* 2021-10-13 On the Video Page  'October 12th, 1941 : The Night Oldham was Bombed'
an Illustrated talk given by John Fidler, on the 80th anniversary.

* 2021-09-28 A list  of the names of the 28 original Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society with a brief history of the movement.

* 2021-09-08  Two articles relating to Latter Day Saints families in Oldham.  
(i) The Albiston Family – 19th Century Latter Day Saints in Oldham, some of whom left for America. 
From Craig Albiston,  Houston, Texas
(ii) Early 20th century memories of the ‘Tin Mission,’ Neville Street, Oldham. 
from Eileen (Mills) Taylor & Sylvia (Mills) Cornell
Both article links can also be found on the Pictorial Index Page

* 2021-08-15 a 15 minute video presentation - A  Brief History of the Peak Forest Canal, stretching from Portland Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne to Bugsworth Basin in Derbyshire.

* 2021-08-04 Thrice Married Elisabeth Rose and The Will  the story of Elisabeth Rose Hoyle/Waller/Cheetham, née Martin, born in Yorkshire before being widowed after her first marriage and coming to Oldham as an innkeeper. 

* 2021-07-26 Map of MANCHESTER 1772 ... from 'OLD MANCHESTER - A Series of Views' ... Drawn by Ralston, James, and Others. Introduction by James Croston, Pub 1875 
a .pdf downloadable file in Research/Miscellany

* 2021-07-24 'Video' page added to the 'Research' breadcrumbs.
Short presentations, local events and recorded talks.

* 2021-06-01  'Where to find it' ... with this content 'site map', navigate the Branch website pages and see, at a glance, where you might find the content you are looking for.

* 2021-05-27 Gallery Page of images and photos ... 15 more pictures added.

* 2021-05-25 Transcribed, 'Introduction' from 'The Annals of Manchester' ed. William E.A. Axon, Pub. 1886
With a List of Mayors of Manchester and a Link to .pdf List of Manchester Borough Reeves from 1552 - 1846

* 2021-05-24 Transcribed, chapter from 'History of the County Palatine, and Duchy of Lancaster' by Edward Baines, Esq., M.P. Vol. II. Pub. 1836... Salford Hundred : Prestwich cum Oldham

* 2021-05-21 'Evans Coal Miners – From Broseley to Oldham' from Alan Blow

* 2021-05-01 'Grotton Hall,' Saddleworth and the Buckley Family

* 2021-04-27 Bookworm : two titles added, in 'Referencing a Way of Life ... Towns and Villages' section.
(i) The Manor and Manorial Records by Nathaniel J. Hone 2nd ed. pub. 1912
(ii) The Manor Houses of England by P.H. Ditchfield. Pub. 1910

* 2021-04-26 'Mills of Oldham & District' ... five .pdfs listing the mills, each with the data sorted differently to facilitate different search criteria.
Added to the Pictorial Menu page and Research/Miscellany :

* 2021-03-28 Three titles added to Bookworm in Referencing Women ... section,  by Oldham writer, Mary Higgs, about women and social reform, pub. 1900-1910
(i) 'Glimpses into the Abyss' (including '5 days and nights as tramp among tramps') pub. 1906
(ii) 'How to deal with the Unemployed' pub. 1904
(iii) 'Where Shall She Live? The Homelessness of the Woman Worker' pub. 1910

* 2021-03-09 Who are on the 2021 Branch committee? Our profiles HERE

* 2021-03-08 Numerous links added to Family and Local History Articles on the 'Oldham Historical Research Group' Website. 

* 2021-03-02 Gallipoli 1915 ... Oldham men who died (.pdf download) : Added to the Pictorial Menu page and Research/Miscellany : 

* 2021-03-02 Book title added to 'Bookworm' page HERE
(i)  In Way of Life :
'The History of the Siege of Manchester by the King's Forces, under the Command of Lord Strange, 1642'' by John Palmer pub. 1822

* 2021-02-05 Reorganisation of page content:
(i) Research/Local Interest page HERE will serve as a 'Pictorial Index' page for all Family and Local History articles in the Branch pages.
(ii) Pages that previously contained more than one article have been edited to show just one. The second article has been given a page of its own and can be found through a link on the Pictorial Index HERE
(iii)  Article added: 'A German Armaments Manufacturer in Oldham During World War One' by Dorothy Bintley 

Updates & Additions to the Branch Pages in 2020

* 2020-12-18 A new page in the Research menu, 'Bookworm' HERE

* 2020-10-29 Two .pdf downloads to help you get the most enjoyment out of our zoom meetings. HERE and HERE

* 2020-10-29 Notification that Oldham Branch will host its first online talk, with zoom, in December. 'Failsworth & Woodhouses War Comforts Society in WW1'

* 2020-10-18 'Custom Roll and Rental of the Manor of Ashton-under-Lyne,  November 11, 1422''. added links to ,pdf documents :
(1) General Introduction and Resource (2) Index to Part lll ... links sat the foot of the page

* 2020-10-15 Custom Roll and Rental of the Manor of Ashton-under-Lyne,  November 11, 1422'.  (extracts transcribed)

* 2020-10-12 'Manchester Hill'
The 16th(S) Battalion, Manchester Regiment, in the Second Battle of th e Somme, at Manchester Hill, 21st March, 1918. With names of the men who died.

Where to Find it ...

Navigate the Oldham Branch website pages and see at a glance where you might find what you are looking for, with this content site map, HERE

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