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The railway station which served this site later formed the basis of Oldham Werneth railway station. Platts gained prestigious awards from around the world, John and James Platt were the largest subscribers for promoting Oldham from a township to a Borough, pledging £100 (more than double the next largest sum) in advance towards any expenses which may have been incurred by the Royal Charter.
He served a seven-year apprenticeship with Sir Charles Barry, before starting a structural engineering practice in Oldham in 1847 that went on to become the pre-eminent mill architect firm in Lancashire.
Wholly reliant upon the textile industry, the cotton famine created chronic unemployment in the town.
By 1863 a committee had been formed, and with aid from central government, land was purchased with the intention of employing local cotton workers to construct Alexandra Park, which opened on 28 August 1865.
At its height in the mid-19th century, when it was dominated by the Lees and Jones families, Oldham coal was mainly sourced from many small collieries whose lives varied from a few years to many decades, although two of the four largest collieries survived to nationalisation.
Oldham's social history, like that of other former unenfranchised towns, is marked by politicised civil disturbances, as well as events related to the Luddite, Suffragette and other Labour movements from the working classes.
Oldham was hit hard by the Lancashire Cotton Famine of 1861–1865, when supplies of raw cotton from the United States were cut off.From its founding in the 9th century until the Industrial Revolution, Oldham is believed to have been little more than a scattering of small and insignificant settlements spread across the moorland and dirt tracks that linked Manchester to York.Much of Oldham's history is concerned with textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution; it has been said that "if ever the Industrial Revolution placed a town firmly and squarely on the map of the world, that town is Oldham." Oldham's soils were too thin and poor to sustain crop growing, and so for decades prior to industrialisation the area was used for grazing sheep, which provided the raw material for a local woollen weaving trade.The manufacture of spinning and weaving machinery in Oldham belongs to the last decade of the 19th century, when it became a leading centre in the field of engineering.
The Platt Brothers, originated in nearby Dobcross village, but moved to Oldham.As a result, Oldham played no part in the initial period of the Industrial Revolution, Cotton spinning and milling were introduced to Oldham when its first mill, Lees Hall, was built by William Clegg in about 1778, the beginning of a spiralling process of urbanisation and socioeconomic transformation.