Queen Elizabeth II and Oldham - the tributes and the memories

Date published: 10 September 2022

Oldham has been paying its heartfelt respects since yesterday evening (Thursday) at 6.30pm when it was officially announced that HRH Queen Elizabeth II had passed away.

After reigning for 70 years, the Queen died peacefully yesterday afternoon at her Scottish estate, where she had spent much of the summer.

An Oldham Council statement read: "All of us here at Oldham Council are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

"Our thoughts are with the Royal Family and we will be writing to Buckingham Palace to offer our condolences. 

"We were honoured to have been visited by Queen Elizabeth on a number of occasions during her reign, and our Queen Elizabeth Hall was so-named after being built to mark the Silver Jubilee celebrations.

"Our new town centre park is also set to be named in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

"We are opening a number of Books of Condolence at Council buildings across our borough, and people are invited to sign these to pay their respects.

"A National Condolence Online Book is also available to sign at: www.royal.uk

"As a mark of respect the Union Flag has been lowered to half-mast at all council buildings. 

"The Mayor will be reading out the Proclamation of the new King on the Steps of the Old Town Hall, facing the War Memorial at 3pm on Sunday 11 September. Members of the public are invited to attend. 

"The Books of Condolence are now available to sign at Oldham Civic Centre; Trinity Methodist Church in Royton; Chadderton Town Hall; Failsworth Library; and St Chad’s in Uppermill.

"People are also invited to lay floral tributes at the Civic Centre; Trinity Methodist Church in Royton; Chadderton Town Hall; Failsworth Pole and at St Chad’s in Uppermill. 

"Meanwhile, the Mayor will be cancelling all her Civic engagements as a mark of respect, until after the Queen’s funeral. 

"During this period of mourning we will be reflecting on the Queen’s tremendous life of service to us here in the UK and across the Commonwealth."

Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Elaine Garry 

Leader of the Council, Councillor Amanda Chadderton 

Jim McMahon, MP for Oldham West and Royton, offered his condolences, saying: "My thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family and all those affected by the loss of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

"A life of public duty, loyalty and stability for our nation whose loss will be felt around the world.

"God bless you as you rest in peace."

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams added: "What a sad day for so many of us in the country and across the Commonwealth, but especially for the Royal Family; my thoughts are with them.

"For many people including me, the Queen will be the only Head of State they have ever known.

"As I reflect on Her Majesty’s truly remarkable life, I’m struck by her incredible life of selfless public service, always putting duty to the country first.

"She truly was a role model for us all, and an inspiration in this regard."

Oldham town centre packed with wellwishers on a rainy day in 1954

A statement from the Oldham Conservative Party and Oldham Conservative Councillors read: "It is with deep sorrow that we, like the people of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham share in the grief at the announcement of the death of our sovereign, HM Queen Elizabeth II by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

"Oldham Conservative Party has ceased all political campaigning and has entered the relevant period of mourning.

"The Queen has paid two visits to Oldham during her record-breaking years on the throne - first in 1954, then in 1992.

"On October 22, 1954, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Oldham Town Hall and textile mills in Shaw as part of a two-day tour of Lancashire and on July 17, 1992, Queen Elizabeth enjoyed a party at Alexandra Park with 3,000 guests as she came to Oldham after officially opening the Metrolink network in Bury.

"The long reign of Queen Elizabeth II was marked by her strong sense of duty and her determination to dedicate her life to her throne and to her people.

"She became for many the constant point in a rapidly changing world as British influence declined, society changed beyond recognition and the role of the monarchy itself came into question."

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes, have also paid tribute to our country's longest-serving monarch.

Mr Burnham said: “On behalf of everyone in Greater Manchester, I wish to convey our deepest sympathies to the Royal Family following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.

The Queen and Prince Philip at Milan Mill

“Queen Elizabeth II has been an ever-present in our lives.

"Our sense of loss is profound because she gave us all so much.

"As the longest reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom, she gave our communities and our country the greatest possible service and guidance.

"For that, and for her exceptional life, we give thanks.”

Ms Hughes added: “I would like to join the Mayor of Greater Manchester in offering my deepest condolences to all members of the Royal Family following the sad news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

“As the longest-serving female Head of State in world history, the Queen worked alongside 15 Prime Ministers and was a source of inspiration to many women working in the public sphere.

“Her dedication to and support for charitable causes has also benefitted so many of our citizens.

"Her Majesty acted as patron to over 600 organisations and charities - helping to raise hundreds and thousands of pounds during her reign.

“Our city-region mourns the passing of Her Majesty, while her legacy and achievements will continue to be remembered and appreciated by people here across Greater Manchester far into the future.”

Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning monarch in British history and the world's oldest head of state.

On her death, the Queen's eldest son and heir, Charles, the former Prince of Wales, has become King of the United Kingdom and 14 Commonwealth realms.

No official details have been released about what will happen over the coming days, but it is anticipated that the Queen's body will lie in state and then be given a full state funeral, as is traditional to mark the death of a monarch.

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