The Arts and Science

Thomas Oldham Barlow R.A.
Oldham 4 Aug 1824 -
            24 Dec 1889  


Louise Brown
Oldham 1978-
First baby conceived by in vitro fertilisation

Helen Bradley M.B.E 
Oldham 1900-1979

Brian Clarke
Oldham 1953-
Painter, designer with Stained Glass

Brian Cox
Oldham 1968-
Professor Particle Physicist, before his academic career he was a keyboard player for the bands D:Ream and Dare

James Fitton RA
Oldham 11 Feb 1899 - 1982
Painter, Lithographer and Theatre Set Designer

Taught at the London Central School of Art, exhibited at the Royal Academy since 1929, married Margaret Cook also an artist in 1928.

Health problems at school affected his academic performance - James was deaf in one ear.
He left school at Watershedding at 14, his head teacher remarked that "he won't be good at anything, that is except drawing"  Went to evening classes at Manchester School of Art, with fellow class mate L. S. Lowry.

In 1937 James worked as a Printer and Advertising Artist - designing posters for London Transport.
By the late forties he was working for Ealing Studios and Romulus Films doing  the art work for Cinema posters and  programmes.

Carl Dean GannonOldham 1964Historian, Author

Stephen J GordonOldham 4 Sep 1986Chess Grandmaster

Philip Gilbert Hamerton
Crompton 1834-1894
Etcher, Painter and Art Critic

Paul Harrison
Writer on Environment and development, founder of World Pantheist Movement

Duncan KenworthyUppermill 09 Sep 1949Educated at Cambridge, getting a First. Film Producer with credits of Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually

Joseph Franklin Kershaw
Oldham 02 May 1884 - 14 Oct 1917
Artist and Painter

Son of Joseph Kershaw an Ironmonger, married Effie Gregory in 1907.  They moved to London, they moved again to Westmoreland before 1914.  Joseph joined the Army in Aug 1916.

He was an associate of the Royal College of Art.
Oldham Gallery holds some of his paintings.

Jack Kirkbride
Oldham 1923-2006
Acclaimed Cartoonist, worked on Oldham Evening Chronicle

John Lees
Inventor, made improvement to cotton carding in 1772

Joseph Lees
Glodwick 1748-1824
Dialect Poet

James Purdy
Oldham 1899 - Feb 1972

Painter, Oils and Watercolours. 
Attended Oldham Municipal School of Art, before studying at Nottingham and Manchester Art Schools.

Moved to London and returned in the late 1920s to marry.Took up a post at Oldham School of Art. He left the school and worked at a small studio at Rhodes Bank taking students at the weekend and roving round Oldham and the surrounding moors.

Purdy spent much of his creative years painting the skylines of Waterhead and Hartshead, he was considered a wizard with skies.

James had exhibitions in Lancashire Galleries and at the Royal Academy and the Oldham Gallery held a 'One-Man Show.

Before the start of the second world war he joined the Ministry of Pensions, and they moved him to Nelson, he gave up painting full time, painting in his spare time.

In 1971 Oldham Gallery decided have an exhibition and celebrate the life of the late James Purdy,  until the
Director of Oldham Libraries and Art Gallery did some detective work and found that James and his wife were alive and well and living in Briercliffe, near Burnley.  The exhibiton was retitled 'Back from the Dead'.

His paintings can be seen at Oldham Gallery.

I would like to thank the Oldham Chronicle and the Oldham Art Gallery their help

Sydney  MorrellOldham 15 Nov 1912 - 21 Oct 1985Journalist who worked for the Daily Mirror and Daily Express. Became the newspaper European correspondent.  He saw Hitler's troops march into Czechoslovakia in 1938.
After which he wrote a book called 'I saw the Cruxifixion'.
Recruited into British Security Co-ordination (BSC) in 1940, it represented largest covert operations in british spying history.
Whilst working for Lord Beaverbrook he married his secretary Mary Elizabeth Bowker.

Andrew SherrattOldham 8 May 1946 - 24 Feb 2006English Archaeologist, Cambridge University 1968, PhD 1976

Abraham Henthorn Stott
Oldham 1822-1904
Architect, brother of Joseph

George Stott
Oldham 1876-1936
Architect, son of Joseph

Joseph Stott
Oldham 1836-1894

Philip Sydney Stott, Sir
Oldham 1858-1937
Architect, 3rd son of Abraham

William Stott
Oldham 1857-1900
Impressionist Painter

Geoff Tootill
Chadderton 1922-
Scientist, helped created electronic stored program computer

George Henry Wimpenny
Oldham 1857 - 15 Jun 1939
Painter, Oil
Married Mary Leach in 1882, had 2 children

Later life cleaned and renovator of Old Paintings and Tapestry
His paintings can be seen on Art UK
Harold Workman RBA
Oldham 03 Oct 1897 - 1975
Painter, Oil and Watercolour
member of The Royal Society of British Artists.

Son of a Oldham Painter and Decorator, studied at Manchester School of Art, with his work exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, The Walker Gallery in Liverpool, moved to London in the 30's.

Ammon Wrigley
10 Oct 1861 - 31 Aug 1946
Denshaw, Saddleworth
Poet and Writer

His family moved to Castleshaw, at nine he divided his time with school and mill work, through his lifetime he worked at various woollen mills.

He published many works of poetry and local history, publishing two books, the second one he received a hundred guineas and a his wife received a watch.
There is a Statue of Ammon in Uppermill.

At his request his ashes were scattered on the moors above Saddleworth.

Last updated 4th July 2019