• Exhibitions

Sunday19 January 2020

Back of Billington's

A Past to Draw On: Capturing the Changing Face of Oldham in Line and Colour

19 November 2016 - 14 January 2017

Community Gallery, Gallery Oldham

Cultural Quarter, Greaves St, Oldham OL1 1AL

From its glorious past as the world’s most productive cotton-spinning town during the Industrial Revolution to the ignominy of being named Britain’s most deprived town in the national press, Oldham has tasted both the highs and the lows. In 2016, with the Town Hall redevelopment project nearing completion and the renovation of the old Museum just begun, things are finally looking up for Oldham.

Judith Alsop Miles grew up in Saddleworth and went to school in Uppermill and Oldham in the 1970s, when the town was perhaps at its lowest ebb. Having then lived abroad for many years, she returned to the area in 2014 to find Oldham in the throes of change.

As an Urban Sketcher with a strong interest in our architectural heritage, she set about drawing Oldham’s listed buildings in the context of the changing face of the town – the old bank at Mumps made more visible by the demolition of the railway bridge, the grand façade of the Lyceum with the bright yellow trams flashing past, the newly cleaned, classical columns of the Town Hall side on to the sleek glass wall of the new cinema complex.

This collection of line-and-wash drawings highlights the modest grandeur of Oldham’s Victorian heritage, juxtaposed with the ordinariness of a backstreet scene or a rusty fire escape zigzagging down the crumbling rear of an abandoned building.  

Exhibition Flyer pdf