Victorian life

Date published: 17 May 2011

A HANDFUL of the oldest snapshots of Saddleworth are to be displayed as part of this year’s Festival of the Arts.

These are just a few of the oldest existing photographs, capturing days gone by around the time of Queen Victoria’s reign.

The striking image of the crowd in Uppermill reveals the ancient tradition of the rushcart procession, alive and well in 1881.

Young and old gather in their Sunday best along Oldham Road to witness the giant rushcart paraded through the centre.

Such intriguing sepia snaps make up a collection of over 15,000 scans of old photographs in the archives of Saddleworth Museum in Uppermill. Many have been collected by current curator Peter Fox, who has made it a personal mission over the past 40 years to collate them.

Other images capture village vistas, starkly undeveloped in comparison with the 21st century.

One image captures a view of Uppermill and the civic hall, formerly the Mechanics Institute in 1880, against a backdrop of undeveloped lush rolling hills.

The event, Saddleworth In Old Photographs, will uniquely capture local history through similar photos through the 1900s, at the museum on Monday, June 6, from 1.45 to 3.45pm.

Entry is free and visitors are invited to bring any old photos they may have to spark discussion.

For those still hungry for local history, Peter is also hosting Saddleworth in Old Film — a drop-in afternoon on Thursday June 9.