Celebrating 175 years of Oldham

A major programme to help celebrate Oldham's 175th anniversary is now live! Look out for special events and new projects to bring local people together and help put Oldham on the map as a place with a proud history and exciting future.

The Borough of Oldham first came into existence on 1 November 1849 due to a charter being granted on 13 June in the same year.  Following this, a formal election process took place and the town’s first ever mayor, William Jones was appointed in early December 1849.   Since then, our town has built up an impressive back catalogue of historical moments, from the birth of suffragette Annie Kenney in 1879 to the world’s first test tube baby being born in Oldham in 1978… 

Here are some of our favourite milestones in Oldham’s rich history:

  • 1865 - Alexandra Park is officially opened. The park was a response to the Lancashire Cotton Famine and ensured that jobs were created for unemployed mill workers.
  • 1900 - Winston Churchill elected MP for Oldham
  • 1910 - Sarah Lees becomes first female Mayor of Oldham.
  • 1928 - Elk Mill built, the last cotton mill to be built in Oldham.
  • 1937 - Death of Clem Beckett (and other Oldham volunteers) in Spanish Civil War.
  • 1961 - launch of the world's first tubular bandage.

Dates for the diary

Check out some of our key events happening this year to commemorate Oldham’s 175 years…

One Seven Five: An incomplete history of Oldham in 175 objects

June 15, 2024  - January 11, 2025

A variety of today’s Oldhamers have selected objects which tell fascinating stories about our area through the years. We’ll be showcasing stories of Olympic glory, a pet wasp, and some gems from Oldham’s art and natural history collections which you may not have seen.

Gallery Oldham, 35 Greaves Street, Oldham, England OL1 1AL

Oldham Pride

Thursday 20 July 2024

The ever-popular Oldham Pride Festival returns for 2024 with a range of entertainment and activities across the town centre.  The Pride parade event itself will take place on Saturday and will travel through the town centre to the Queen Elizabeth Hall where there will be community stalls, a youth event, and a main stage cabaret. (pic attached that can be used)

Pride 2024

Oldham Histories Festival

Friday 6 – Sunday 15 September 2024

This year’s theme is Routes, Networks and Connections and our programme includes gallery talks, town centre walks, and behind-the-scenes tours.

Halloween Half Marathon

Sunday 27 October

Oldham Half marathon

The Halloween Half 2024 is back and ready for you to book! Whether you're joining the race for the first time or you're back to tackle it again, make sure you book your place.

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