Monday, 25 May 2015


By the splendid delights of the Manchester tram system to Oldham. And to the not quite so splendid delights of this odd looking and somewhat worn clock tower.

Despite its unusual appearance, its location high up on the building on a road junction, with large clear dials, makes it a highly effective timepiece. Or what do if the clock was working.

But at least you have the choice of time, depending on which face you look at.

The building is a snooker and pool club (although I am not sure if it is still open) on Union Street, but I assumed surely must have been a cinema originally. Further research shows that it was the Gaumont Cinema which was closed in 1961, but has had later reincarnations as a bowling alley, night club, snooker hall and, since 2011, a roller derby venue. So a useful local venue, but just a shame the exterior looks so awful.

Further up Union Street is The Centre.


And even further along are the offices of the Oldham Evening Chronicle.

What I have just realised is that Union Street is quire special in that it has three clocks, all of which are of the simple dashed-clock face design rather than the more common Roman and Arabic numerals. Union Street might just well be Unique Street in the world of clock bloggers (admittedly not the largest world in the universe).

The Oldham Evening Chronicle newspaper itself started out as the Oldham Chronicle on 6 May 1854.

Back to the world of Roman numerals. This is the church of St Mary with St Peter. As so often is the case, the church has a very long history, but the current building design dates from 1830.

On to Tommyfield Market.

The market was founded in 1788 on land owned by Thomas Whittaker, hence the name. The subsequent market hall was burned down in 1974, and the replacement building dates from the 1990s.

The market covers the site of what is claimed to be the first chip shop, opened in about 1860. There is apparently a plaque on the wall in the market all, although I didn't see it myself.

And finally on to the bus station. The original new bus station was opened in 2001 and is fitted out with several identical clocks.

An addition to the bus station, on a separate piece of land, was opened in September 2006. The seeds from the main site must have blown across, as the same clocks have sprung up here.

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