Oldham & District Branch of M&LFHS


Meetings Programme January 2017 to June 2017


January – No meeting


11 February                          Sid Calderbank

Love and Romance in Victorian Lancashire

Songs, stories and poems from Lancashire's finest 19th century writers!  Sid Calderbank, chairman of The Lancashire Society and committee member of The Edwin Waugh Dialect Society has been over 40 years researching, collecting and performing works in the Lancashire dialect. The founder, in 2008, of National Dialect Day, and a very popular speaker at arts and literature festivals, he has been invited to contribute to several BBC radio and television programmes including Flog It!, Countryfile and Great British Railway Journeys.


11 March                               Alan Crosby

Poor Law in 1834

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 completely transformed the system of poor relief which had operated since 1601. It centralised administration, created the massive union workhouses so feared by our Victorian forebears, and turned a comparatively humane system into a draconian one where deterrent was the key word (in other words, make the workhouse so unwelcoming that people will be deterred from applying for assistance). The aim was to cut the welfare budget. Sounds familiar? It didn’t work, and especially not in Lancashire and Yorkshire, but it was a fundamental aspect of Victorian society. If your ancestor was a pauper, this is the system they had to deal with.


8 April                                     Tony Foster

And in Flew Enza

This talk is based on the Spanish Flu that was a worldwide pandemic and resulted in 50 to 100 million deaths during 1918-1919. There were 228,000 deaths in the UK of which 611 deaths occurred in Oldham. In the talk Tony will outline the various sources that can be used to explain how the flu affected the local community and how they coped with this “new” flu. The talk will also explain the commercial remedies that could be purchased over the chemist counter.  Tony has been involved with family history research since the early 1970s and is a Vice-President of the Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society. In 2000 he completed a MA in Local History.


13 May                                   Peter Watson

North Country Folklore

This talk will look at some of the ‘Folk-Learning’ relating to healing, protection, the supernatural, popular beliefs and superstition.  Peter lectures on social history, medieval history and popular culture and has been giving talks for 40 years. His particular interests are protective, healing and image magic, and the uses of magical artefacts.


10 June                                 Alan Morrison

Skeletons in the Cupboard

This presentation is a descriptive account of how the speaker researched his family tree and the very unusual outcome he discovered.  This sometimes humorous and sometimes sad account advises the listener of various sources and ways to interpret them.