Published: Thursday, 02nd June 2022

A torchlit procession and beacon lighting event will kick off Oldham’s packed weekend of Jubilee events this Thursday, 2 June in the town centre.

A few months ago, we encouraged residents to nominate torchbearers to take part in our torchlit procession and after receiving more than 100 nominations, we’ve now confirmed the final 70.

We had some inspiring nominations from Oldhamers including individuals who have raised money for charity, volunteered in their local community, set up groups – including sports and wellbeing – and those who selflessly supported their community throughout the pandemic.

Local resident and ‘running man’ Mohammed Afruz Miah, will be taking part in the procession.

Earlier this year he was honoured with a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his charity work in Greater Manchester after being recognised for raising a whopping half a million pounds for local and international charities.

Afruz is nicknamed Oldham's 'Running Man' because of his commitment to doing epic runs for charity. Earlier this year, he raised £130,000 for the UK charity Global Relief Trust by running 313km from Oldham to London, while fasting for Ramadan. He also ran the London Marathon and eight half marathons for both them and Oldham cancer charity Maggie's.

Afruz said: “I feel honoured and proud to be selected to be one of the torchbearers for the Queen’s Jubilee celebration and hopefully my work in the community will inspire and motivate others to follow suit and do their bit for local and national communities.”

 “I feel there are so many more people who are more deserving than myself to be selected for this opportunity as so much outstanding grassroots work goes unnoticed locally but I’ve been fortunate to be awarded the BEM in the New Years' honours list hence the reason my work got highlighted.” 

The procession will take place in Oldham town centre where the torchbearers will congregate at Oldham Parish Church to light the beacon at 9.45pm. This will be done at the same time as more than 1,500 beacons are lit across the country to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen's reign. The evening will also include speeches from local dignitaries and a performance from Oldham’s Scottish Pipe Band.

Leader of Oldham Council, Councillor Amanda Chadderton, said: “We have so many outstanding, selfless people in Oldham who do so much for their community and town, and I’m proud to say that this parade will be showcasing them as well as including them in part of Oldham’s history. 

“It’s a spectacular procession to start the line-up of events we have planned, marking the first time a British monarch is to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.

“It’s great to see so many communities hosting their own events across the borough and I’ll certainly be looking forward to attending the celebrations. Make sure you check out our Jubilee programme of events as there really is something for everyone.” 

Oldham’s Jubilee weekend will include a two-day family-friendly festival with street theatre, live music, dance, art, and activities including arts and crafts, and big screens showing the national Jubilee Pageant in London.

Alongside side the main events there are also more than 230 street parties across the borough that have been given funding by the council to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in style. 

Throughout the Jubilee weekend from 2 to 5 June, we’ll be using #OldhamJubilee on our social media channels to keep you up to date with all things Jubilee in Oldham and would encourage people to join us by posting their own photographs.

To see the full list of events, visit: www.oldham.gov.uk/jubilee

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