There's No Place Like Oldham
Oldham is a town in Greater Manchester where I grew up and have lived all my life before studying in Leeds. My family can be traced back here to the 1800’s. It’s about as typically Northern as you can get. Oldham is somewhere very close to my heart, yet I simultaneously hate it. However, I’m allowed. It’s kind of like, I know it looks grim up North, but it’s my grim, so you can’t disrespect that.
The town itself is still very poor and working class, but there’s something about being from a Northern working class background that I feel you just sort of have to be proud of. It represents generations of hard work, blood, sweat and tears.
I wanted to give the viewer a look into this once thriving town that used to be at the forefront of the industrial revolution, with my grandparents-going-on-generations working in the cotton mills here. I wanted to show how the bustling streets have died down, with factories being relocated overseas and closed in favour of cheaper alternatives, but those grey cloudy days, cobbled streets and market stalls still stand the same as they ever did, just about.
I shot using a Pentax K1000 with Illford 400 black and white film. Only very minor levels adjustments have been made.