Oldham is made up of 25 suburbs

Abbey Hill 
Fitton Hill
Garden Suburbs
Green Acres
Mumps Salem

After Goverment reorganisation in 1974

Oldham includes

Shaw & Crompton

Major Employers/Industries

Coal Industry

The earliest mention of finding coal was 1524, by Richard Wild in Crompton.  1642 there were various coal mines but the mining did not take off until the Industrial Revolution.  Two welsh labourers, saw that the demand for coal would be extensive.  They acquired  colliery rights which eventually controlled the whole coal supply of Oldham, Coldhurst, Longsight, Werneth, Dryclough, Coppice and Rhodes Bank. 

William Jones, John Evans both established a colliery and a pit near Bankside.

Cotton Industry

Before the 1800's employment in Oldham and its districts relied on hatting, coal mining, the woollen trade.  Manchester Merchants saw the potential of Oldham and provided cotton for spinning and weaving, this was work which could be done at home and provide well needed extra income.

At first, the cotton was brought from India and the eastern mediterrean, but increasing the cotton came from the american south produced by slaves.

The onset of the Industrial Revolution allowed the production of spinning and weaving on an industrial scale.  Oldham had all the right ingredients to create a booming economy.  Coal, water (in climate and rivers), transport links and of course, cheap labour.

The American Civil war (1861-1865), had a knock on effect on the supplies of cotton to the region, this was not felt in the begining because there was a large supply of cotton here already in warehouses, but as the years went on the blockades around the major confederate ports not allowing ships to pass took their toll, and mill owners started laying off workers.  This time in the north-west was called the 'the cotton famine'.  Oldham council set up soup kitchens and lobbied the government for money, to find alternate employment.  Many of the mill workers did not blame the african slaves for their blight, but said they would rather starve than support the south and slavery.


In 1896 Sebastian Ziano Ferranti (1864-1930) was in Oldham with his wife looking for a site for his expanding business, they found an old boiler works, with 76,000 square feet of land in Hollinwood.  Ferranti was a prolific inventor with his ability of engineering, made it necessary to expand his business to keep up with orders.  He manufactured electrical equipment, switchgear, alternators.

Ferranti moved his firm from London, he brought 300 employees, together with their families to Hollinwood.

  Some of the descendants are still there to-day.  1905 Hollinwood became the registered headquarters of the firm.  Ferranti looked at the production of textile yarn, he succeeded in improving the speed and quality of the yarn spun which was first developed by Arkwright.  By 1934 the firm employed an average of 5,500 people, during world war two the factory employed up to 12,000,  in 1985 around 6,000.