Star Inn, Oldham



16” x 12” Acrylic

For many generations, this ancient crossroads was known as Star Inn. The once famous inn is now a fried chicken business.

The Gaumont building has had many changes. To my parents it was the Grand Theatre. In my experience, The Gaumont was Saturday morning cinema: Mighty Mouse, Hue and Cry, Davy Crocket, with a personal appearance of Fess Parker, also Art Pickles the world yoyo champion appeared on stage. It was first dates, Superman, I’m All Right Jack, and Psycho.

When the cinema closed, it became The Top Rank bowling alley upstairs and The Astoria night club below. The Beatles starred at The Astoria and I saw Tom Jones, Del Shannon, Norman Wisdom, Georgie Fame & Alan Price, Showaddywaddy, Hurricane Smith and Labi Siffre, to name a few. These appeared at The Astoria, Baileys, Romeo & Juliets, Butterflies or whatever the name was at the time.

In recent times it’s Riley’s Snooker Club, and The Rainy City Roller Derby.

The car in the picture is a Ford Anglia, first seen in 1959. Oldham Corporation buses displayed a letter of the alphabet , rather than a route number. The ‘M’ bus ran from Royton to Hathershaw.

When I was scouting round with my camera, planning the picture, the young lovers came round the corner in their hoodies. I included them, dressed more like their grandparents, for the sake of the period piece.

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