Save our little bit of history

Date published: 26 May 2009

THE FIGHT to stop bulldozers heading to Broadway Library has been stepped up following moves to make it a listed building.

Members of the long-standing Chadderton Historical Society have applied to the English Heritage Society to make the library listed to prevent it being demolished.

Local councillors and residents lost their fight to keep the library open and it controversially closed its doors for the last time earlier this month.

Spokesman Mike Lawson said: “Although the building is not that old is a very important piece of South Chadderton’s history.

“It was built as the area’s contribution to the Coronation, in 1953, and is very rare.

“It is a great example of 1950s’ architecture.

“Most libraries were funded by the county council or the Andrew Carnegie Trust in that era, but Broadway Library was funded by the urban district council to celebrate the Coronation.

“We have already lost Radclyffe School which was the old grammar school so we don’t want to lose another slice of local heritage.

“If our application is successful it will make it very difficult for anyone to demolish the library.

“We have made the application on architectural and historical grounds so now we just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope we get the result we want.”

Frances Hirst, secretary of Oldham Area Civic Society, said “Oldham Area Civic Society is totally behind Chadderton Historical Society’s listing bid for Broadway Library.

“It is a charming building which enhances and adds character to the corner of Broadway it occupies, as well as being a fine example of 1950s’ architecture with good historical associations for the area.

“It would be shameful for Oldham to lose yet another building to demolition — a loss and impoverishment of the environment which would, no doubt, be mourned in the future.”

Councillor John McCann, cabinet member for community services and housing, said: “Broadway Library is not that old, it is a flat-roof building and very high maintenance.

“The site as a whole is valuable and we hope to demolish the old library and create a new community facility with a library service.

“There are buildings in Oldham that are much older than this and I would have thought these would be more worthy of becoming listed buildings.”