The Oldham Stories Festival returns with an impressive line-up
The Oldham Stories Festival and Heritage Open Days are back this year with an impressive range of events for the people of Oldham.
The exciting lineup includes everything from guided tours of the streets, including a ghost tour near the end of September, to the lives and works of our borough’s inventors, artists, and influencers.
The Oldham Storytelling Festival begins on September 9 and ends on October 1, with most being free to the public, although some events must be booked in advance.
Reservations can be made by calling 0161 770 4654 or emailing [email protected]
Let’s take a look at some of the notable events to put on the calendar.
friday september 9
Oldham Parish Church, 10am-2pm
The church, which was built in 1830 and is a Grade II listed building, invites members of the public to take a look at its crypts, vaults and display of Oldhamers killed in the Spanish Civil War.
If you can’t get there on Friday, it reopens the next day at the same time.
St. Chad Church, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This monument has been a place of worship since 1215 AD and even has its own depiction of “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci.
The church will be open to everyone from Friday to Sunday.
Oldham Lyceum, 11am-12pm
Take a guided tour of one of Oldham’s most iconic buildings.
You need to book in advance for this one.
Guided Walk with Hollywood Canal Society, 1 p.m.
Have you ever wondered about the history of the Hollywood Canal?
Meet outside the cafe at Daisy Nook Country Park to learn all about the historically significant role this canal has played.
If you miss it, you can also attend the Saturday march at the same time.
Saturday September 10
Ferranti Invention Collections, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
There will be a walk-in session at Oldham Local Studies and Archives for locals to learn more about one of the most important electrical engineering companies of the 20th century.
Oldham Microscopy and Natural History Society, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
This open house showcases the wonderful invention of the microscope and highlights the important contribution of Northwestern inventors.
There is also a chance to see flies, mushrooms and other items in the natural history collection at Gallery Oldham.
Booking is essential for this one as tours start from 10.30am at the Gallery Oldham.
Visit of the clock rooms of St. Thomas Church, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Celebrate the 150th anniversary of St Thomas’ Church in Moorside with this unique tour of its tower, bells and clocks.
Guided walk on Union Street, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Union Street is one of Oldham’s most famous streets – so get to know it all by meeting at the Peace Garden to take part in this guided walk.
Excavations of the Roman Fort, Castleshaw, 2 p.m.
Want to know more about the two Roman forts and the latest excavations in 2014, 2016 and 2017?
Meet at the Waterworks Road car park, next to the Castleshaw Outdoor Education Centre.
monday september 12
Cemetery records – 2-3:30 p.m.
To find out more about the Oldham Cemetery Archives, go to Oldham Local Studies and Archives on Union Street.
Illustrated conference on the pre-Victorian Sholver, 7 p.m.
There will be an illustrated lecture hosted by Moorside and District Historical Society at St Thomas’ Church, Glebe Lane.
tuesday september 13
Oldham Edge Walk, 10.30am-12pm
Take a hike down memory lane on the Oldham Edge Walk.
Meet at the White House, Henshaw Street, to participate.
Amazing Inventions: Len Gabriels, 2-3 p.m.
Discover the life of Len Gabriels who invented the hang glider in his garage.
It’s at Oldham Local Studies and Archives, 84 Union Street, and booking is essential.
The Tudor Bed: That’s Authenticity, Saddleworth, 7:30 p.m.
Attend this lecture by Adam Bowett hosted by the Saddleworth Historical Society on the discovery of the royal Tudor bed.
Go to the Saddleworth Museum High Street in Uppermill for this one.
Thursday September 15
Visit the War Graves at Greenacres Cemetery from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
A guided tour around the First World War graves in the cemetery.
Meet at the entrance to the cemetery.
Saturday September 17
The Old Road through Oldham, 11am-12.30pm
Join Jeremy Sutcliffe for a walk along an ancient medieval road.
Meet at Oldham Loucal Studies and Archives on Union Street and book in advance.
Sunday September 18
Tours of George Street Chapel, 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Join a tour of this Grade II listed chapel, built in 1815 by parishioners, many of whom worked as hatters and in the local mills.
You will need to book in advance for this tour.
monday september 19
Oldham Coliseum tours, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Take a guided tour through this unique theatrical space that is said to be haunted.
It’s on Fairbottom Street, and booking is essential.
Transforming Oldham Library, 2-3 p.m.
Come and see this presentation from Tilbury Douglas, the entrepreneurs involved in the transformation of the Espace Education library, Galerie Oldham.
Thursday September 22
Oldham Railway Walk: Mumps at Alexandra Park 10.30am-12pm
Enjoy this walk led by Stephen Darlington, exploring Oldham’s railway history.
You must also book for this one and the meeting takes place at the local Oldham Studies and Archives.
friday september 23
Holy Trinity Church, Waterhead, Heritage Weekend.
Come get dressed and enjoy guided tours with quizzes and various family activities at this Waterhead church.
The festivities start on Friday and will run all weekend.
Swaminarayan Temple, Copster Hill Road, 10am-12pm
Do not miss the opportunity to come and see the interior of this Hindu temple.
If you miss it, it is also open on Saturday October 1st.
tuesday september 27
Clem Beckett: Motorcycle Legend and War Hero, 1 p.m.
Enjoy a talk from Rob Hargreaves who wrote a book about Oldham motorcycling legend Clem Beckett.
The conference will take place at Performance Space, Oldham Library.
Thursday, September 29
Ghost walk in Oldham town center
Towards the end of September, join this spooky walk and learn about ghostly happenings in Oldham.
Head to the Old Museum, Greaves Street, to participate.