Archiver > ENG-MANCHESTER > 2003-08 > 1060043344

From: "L.Klein" <>
Subject: [ENG-MAN] [Fwd: MLFHS: Oldham Happenings]
Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 20:29:04 -0400

Forwarded with the kind permission of the original poster. Items
transcribed from "a booklet which was originally published in 1858, and
reprinted in 1974, entitled 'One Thousand Notable Things; or Remarkable
Events That Have Occurred in Oldham and Neighbourhood, during the last
500 Years arranged in a Systematic Chronological Order,' by Thomas
Robinson Whitworth, L.A.C.H.P. "


-------- Original Message --------

I didn't forget, there were no events listed in the publication for 9th

10th July events

1825 Alarm at the fall of Oldham Old Church

1837 E. Stanley and Charles Townley visited Oldham

1845 Saml. Lees, Esq., of Soho ironworks, killed by a fall


>From John Beever's 'A History of Oldham Churches' on the subject of St.
Mary, the parish church of Oldham.

"The eighteenth century saw Oldham and its surrounding townships grow
rapidly with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Crompton had had a
chapel since about 1515, but Royton got its own church in 1757, Oldham's
second church (St. Peter's) was built in 1768 and a year later a church was
built at Hollinwood to sever both Hollinwood and Chadderton. As expansion
continued and industry brought wealth to the town, it was suggested that the
old mediaeval church should be replaced, and this plunged Oldham into
controversy once again.

Those who wanted the new church claimed that the population had outgrown the
old one, and that in any case the fabric was unsafe. The first to argue
against the scheme were the outlying townships, who would have to provide
part of the money for the new building as well as maintain their own
churches. Some people disliked the way the trustees handled the funds, and
the men of culture and historians like Butterworth objected on the ground
that destruction of the mediaeval church would be an act of vandalism. The
matter was to be decided by a vote, but the voting was greatly influenced by
two events. The first was a visit by Dr. Law, the Bishop of Chester, who on
seeing the church declared that it was in a ruinous state. The second event
appeared to prove him right. During the Sunday service on 3rd July 1825 the
chimney stack of the vestry collapsed and fell on to the roof. Fearing that
the whole church was about to collapse, the congregation panicked and fled
via any exit they could find, including, it was said, the windows. In the
confusion hats, coats and bonnets were crushed and several people were
trampled; one man, Mr. Peter Blain, was severely injured."

This account conflicts with 'Oldham Happenings' in the date of the fall of
the chimney stack.

Mary P

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