A love letter to Oldham

Between 2018 and 2020, arts organisation Arc worked in partnership with Gallery Oldham on a community project to celebrate what makes Oldham special, with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The result is a new communal poem, written to the town, by its people.

To read the poem in full you can see it on a specially commissioned banner that will be on display in our Oldham Stories exhibition from 11 December. And you can follow this link to hear the love letter brought to life by members of Oldham Theatre Workshop.

We asked people to write a love letter directly to the heart of the town, to write about what Oldham means to them.  We popped up at many large-scale public events in the town, including the Illuminate and Accelerate Festivals, installed ourselves at Gallery Oldham, and worked with local groups Chai Women, Home-Start Family Support, Springboard Dementia Carers, Inspire Women Oldham, Maggie’s Cancer Care Oldham, volunteers from Oldham Local Studies and members of the Writers’ Cafe at Lees Library.

Hearts with lines of poetry

In total, 667 people of all ages took part in the project and over 400 letters were written. Arc then took elements of as many of the letters as they could and created this massive expression of love, affection, frustration and wonder. What truly passionate and articulate letter-writers the people of Oldham are…

Arc is one of the leading arts and mental health organisations in the north. In Oldham we offer creative activities designed to improve mental health and wellbeing, including projects delivered here at Gallery Oldham. For more information please visit www.arc-centre.org