Diminishing Landscapes - Oldham and District in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, by Christine Drummond and Keith Snape
Booklet published by Oldham Arts & Heritage in 2007, 60 pages. A4 size booklet (N6595CHX1)
This booklet is a fascinating history of Oldham over past decades, and is packed full with black and white photographs showing the streets and buildings of the area during that period. The booklet will thus delight anyone with an interest in the social history of the place and its people.
From the introduction: The 1950s, '60s and '70s were years of great change in Oldham. The legacy of the area's once thriving industrial past was one of closely packed terraced housing, looming mill chimneys and smoke-blackened buildings. At the beginning of this period, public houses, places of worship and small individual shops catering for every need could be found in abundance in every district. The centres of Oldham and the other local townships were crowded with shoppers as they bought their necessities in long-established stores and on traditional markets.
However, the post-war decades saw developments in life-style take place at an unprecedented rate. The ownership of cars rocketed, as did that of television sets. Society expected homes to have indoor toilets and bathrooms and retailing was moving away from the small shop to large supermarkets where everything could be obtained under one roof
Oldham was ill-equipped to deal with these changes and transformation was inevitable. Public services working from nineteenth century buildings found they could no longer offer satisfactory provision and new premises were essential for their effective operation. Wider roads were needed to deal with the ever increasing volume of traffic, and to divert it away from clogging up the town centre. Modern homes had to replace the thousands of Victorian houses that still constituted the main type of housing stock in the Borough, and traditional places of popular entertainment were shunned in favour of playing bingo or watching the television at home.
Hence, great swathes of the town disappeared under new roads, housing estates, shopping superstores and car parks. Much fine architecture was sacrificed and well-loved local facilities, such as corner shops and pubs, were demolished to make way for the renovations. The 1950s, '60s and '70s saw the face of the Borough redefined through new architectural projects and the development of derelict land or unused, open spaces. The photographs in this book come from the photographic collections held at Oldham Local Studies and Archives and can be viewed there in their original state. Many of the photographs were taken by L. Kaye who was commissioned by the department to record the changes across the town during the 1960s to '70s and to expand those collections....
Condition of the booklet is generally very good. The cover has some minor scuffs and blemsihes, and some nibbling and creasing along the edges and corners, but the staple spine is tight and intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.