Here’s Why Everyone From Oldham Wishes They Lived Somewhere Else
Ahh, Oldham. Our little non-descript town, whose recent claim to fame was ranking #9 in the top 10 worst towns in England, and having a number of schools ranked the worst in England. Yay us, right? Now don’t get me wrong, I love my town. I was born and raised in Oldham, and my family live there. But that doesn’t cancel out the fact that, in all honesty, it’s just a bit shit. So, what is it about Oldham that makes it so grim – why are we all so eager to leave? Here’s my take on it.
Ever been to the Spindles on a Saturday? Utter horror story – and don’t even get me started on the queues in NatWest. I know that towns are sometimes more on the crowded side but Oldham really is pushing its limits. With new housing developments popping up left, right and centre overpopulation is a real concern. Combine all this with the added traffic on the roads and it’s no wonder we’re all dreaming of moving to the peaceful countryside.
2. Proximity to Manchester
Manchester, home of big brands, good food and culture by the bucketful. With all this just down the road our little town centre, with its 3 different pound shops and various empty storefronts, just can’t compete. I can’t be the only one who’s daydreamed about zipping across Manchester on a Vespa whilst living in a city centre apartment, when in reality I’m waiting for a 409 bus that’s never on time.
Despite a recent attempt to rejuvenate the centre with the new cinema complex, you can’t deny that Oldham in general is pretty tired looking. The empty shop fronts and dingy back alleys, combined with litter filled streets and graffiti covered walls doesn’t paint a pretty picture. This can be infuriating at times, because a lot more needs to be done to help our image. Sometimes it just feels like the world has given up on little towns like ours, and these feelings of despair are enough to make anyone want to leave.
4. It’s a little rough.
This might be a little hard for some people to handle, but it’s undeniably true. In some parts, Oldham is a bit rough. Just take a walk into town on a busy day and you’ll see what I mean. You’ve got your classic litter louts, your guys spitting everywhere, probably a pile of something gross on the floor, and at least 1 person kicking off at someone else. Not great. Plus, our crime rate isn’t getting any lower, and some places are just so overrun with drugs it’s ridiculous. Oh, and there’s always at least one guy on the bus making everyone uncomfortable, or one gang of kids on the tram that gets removed by the police at Derker.
Now please don’t come at me with pitchforks, I know there’s positives to Oldham I really do. But as someone who’s spent 18 years of their life there before moving to university, I know just how much of a mess it really is too. I’m sure if given the chance most people would leave Oldham without so much of a backwards glance.
Living there is like drinking Glenn’s vodka straight out of the bottle, whilst everyone else is on Cîroc and coke – and if that isn’t the most Oldham quote I don’t know what is. But it’s only because I live here that I can say all this. If an outsider tried to join in on this we’d be quick to defend our little town. Because it may be a trashy mess but it’s our trashy mess.