A History of the North in 100 objects

We are delighted to be part of an exciting project tracing the History of the North in 100 Objects. This new website is intended to showcase the pioneering spirit and impact of the North of England’s inventors, artists, scientists and designers. It is part of the Great Exhibition of the North which runs 22 June – 9 September 2018.

Museums across Northern England were invited to nominate objects which tell some of the inspiring stories that reveal the North’s ability to reinvent itself, to survive, thrive and create new futures for itself and others. A History of the North in 100 Objects brings together objects that illustrate the richness that comes from this region and its people, such as the creation of railways, a flourishing artistic life, the drive for social reform, and the sheer breadth and depth of world renowned inventions. Oldham’s contribution to Northern history is represented by three objects from our collections.

The Banner of the Oldham Women’s Suffrage Society
This banner was made by members of the Oldham Women’s Suffrage Society who campaigned for votes for women. In 1913 members of the society joined the great suffrage pilgrimage where UK women marched to London’s Hyde Park. This banner was carried all the way and proudly displayed at the meeting.

The Oldham Panorama photograph by Squire Knott
A fascinating photograph was taken in 1876. It captures the growth of Oldham as it was transformed from a small rural community to become the largest cotton spinning town in the world.

Pair of cotton cops, one from 1735 and one from 1885
One of the very first objects to be donated to Oldham Museum. This pair of cotton cops demonstrate the long history of cotton spinning in Lancashire. From small scale production in the 1700s to a time when cotton was at the heart of a global industry and the key driver of the wealth of Victorian Britain.

All three of our objects are on display at Gallery Oldham as part of the Great Exhibition of the North. There is also an interactive and engaging website has been specially created where all 100 of these fascinating objects can be viewed: www.100objectsnorth.co.uk. Users can search for objects by location, time period, size or theme. You can also use the website to curate a personal collection by saving up to 10 objects into an ‘exhibition’ which can then be shared via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or email. Users can vote for their favourite exhibitions and the most popular will be displayed prominently on the website.

Taking place across NewcastleGateshead, Great Exhibition of the North is a free, once-in-a-lifetime event which celebrates great art and culture, design and innovation from across the North. Full of amazing exhibits, live performances, displays of innovation, new artworks and magical experiences, it will tell the inspiring story of the North of England and how its innovators, businesses, artists and designers have shaped our present and are inspiring our future.