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Hope amid hard times in Oldham

Between silent factories and struggling shops, there’s poverty and even hunger. But there’s also a steadfast community spirit which holds the key to turning this town around. Jennifer Williams's reporting and Joel Goodman's photography is supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

A nighttime scene in Oldham

There’s a particular image of Oldham that goes some way towards encapsulating decades of its history, successes and struggles.

In the background stand the long-silent mills, testament to a bountiful, industrious identity reaching back more than 200 years. Terraced houses, built for the thousands of people originally working in those mills and, later, for the engineering giants that flourished here during and after the Second World War, curve into the middle distance.

Yet what’s missing from the picture is just…

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