British Council Bilateral Exchange Visit UK, Oldham Day-1 and Day -2

Day – 1  Arrival to UK.

Hotel : Mercure Manchester Norton Grange Hotel, Manchester

We take Emirates Flight on 27th May 2012, fly from Karachi via Dubai and reached Manchester Airport, UK at 7:40pm and strangely Sun was shining. First experience was very different to know that Sun sets after 9pm. We meet Mr. Tim at Manchester Airport and went to hotel, after dinner, went to my bed.


Day – 2 Setting the Scene for Oldham:

Wakeup at 6:30am, and had a morning walk around the hotel, its nice to see the nature and Greenery everywhere and a fresh air.

University Campus Oldham (UCO)

Our 2nd Day start with a sunshine morning, after breakfast we went to University Campus Oldham.

A briefing session, with whole week program schedule receives from Mr. Tim and David, with a cash money of 70£. Then we walk to our next destination.

During this walking tour I observed cleanliness;  everyone is following the rules either it’s a traffic lights or it’s a building.

It’s nice to see accessibility everywhere for disabled persons. Either it’s a Road, Building, Career service, or transportation system.

Voluntary Action Oldham (VAO):

Voluntary Action Oldham supports local community action across the Borough of Oldham; providing practical support services to voluntary organisations and community groups.

This includes helping organizations to identify funding, access information, connect to others and recruit and support volunteers.

Voluntary Action Oldham is an active member of Oldham Partnership ensuring the voluntary, community and faith sector is represented in decisions that affect the town and plays its part in improving the life chances for the people of Oldham.  VAO advocate on behalf of the sector championing the vital role that voluntary, community and faith organizations play in supporting the most vulnerable of Oldham’s communities.

Mr. David and Ms. Alia spread some lights on working of VAO, across Oldham specially focusing on youth volunteering and volunteerism.

Oldham Town Trail and treasure hunt:

Then we had an small activity to know the price difference in Pakistan and UK, for that we went to a shopping Centre as asked about the prices of different items like a Coca Cola Cane, A Water Bottle, A pair of man and woman shoes etc.

Then we went to our next destination.

Lunch The Salt Cellar:

Before entering the Restaurant, Observed a special lift for Disabled Person, it was again a very different

experience to see the accessibility facilities for the persons with disabilities .

Here we had a lunch, with a traditional Big Potato’s with Bean and Chees. Then we went to visit Oldham Parish Churh.

The Oldham Parish Church of St. Mary with St. Peter is the Church of England parish church for Oldham in Greater Manchester, England. It forms part of the Diocese of Manchester and is one of several Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester.

A church building had existed on the site since 1280. During this time, a small chapel stood on the site to serve the local townships of Oldham, Chatterton, Royton and Crompton. This was later replaced by an Early English Gothic Church in the 15th century. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution, the population of Oldham increased at a rapid rate (from under 2,000 in 1714, to over 32,000 by 1831). The rapid growth of the local population warranted that the building be rebuilt in to the current structure. Though the budget was originally agreed at £5,000, the final cost of building was £30,000, one third of which was spent on the crypt structure. Alternative designs by Sir Charles Barry, the designer of the Palace of Westminster, although now regarded by some as superior, were rejected.

The church its present form, dates from 1830 and was designed in the Gothic Revival Style by Richard Lane, a Manchester based Architect.It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building.It was linked with St Mary’s Church in Prestwich and together the sites were principal churches of the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Prestwich-cum-Oldham.

Oldham History and Archives Centre:

Archives are unique, original documents created in the course of everyday activities.

They can cover numerous subjects from local government, schools, businesses as well as recording the lives of ordinary people in Oldham.

  • Oldham’s archives date from 1597 to the present day
  • It’s free to look at the archives
  • Please bring proof of your ID (e.g. a driver’s license)

You can also get advice about looking after your own original documents.

Most archives can be produced immediately, with no advance booking required.

However, some archives are kept away from Oldham Local Studies and Archives, so at least 2 days’ notice is required to see them.

Other archives may be closed due to their fragile condition, or because they contain confidential information.

Gallery Oldham:

Gallery Oldham provides a wide range of exhibitions and activities targeted at different audiences of all ages within Oldham and the surrounding area. Current and forthcoming exhibitions feature artworks and items from Oldham’s diverse collections alongside newly commissioned art, international work, touring exhibitions and work produced with local communities.

Talks and tours, art and craft workshops, work with schools and artist residencies are all part of the gallery’s regular activities programme.

The new Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre opened in April 2006 and is joined onto the Gallery with a shared reception area. Gallery Oldham is open six days a week:

Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm. (Last admission to the galleries 4.30pm), Admission is free.

Gallery Oldham welcomes disabled people. There are large lifts, accessible toilets, and baby changing facilities.

There are two disabled parking spaces at the bottom of Greaves Street, next to the Gallery and Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre, and several spaces on the Southgate Street pay and display car park, with access to the Gallery across Southgate Street.

Gallery Oldham arrange audio described tours for a number of Gallery exhibitions. Newly expanded shop sells souvenirs and gifts to suit all ages and pockets including a wide range of crafts and jewelry, an excellent range of cards and postcards and crystal engraved with the Oldham coat of arms.

The shop also sells catalogues for past and current exhibitions, books about the Gallery’s collections and local history publications.

Gallery Oldham Collections

Gallery Oldham has been collecting artworks and objects since 1883 and is still collecting today.

The current collections include over 12,000 social and industrial history items, more than 2,000 works of art, about 1,000 items of decorative art, more than 80,000 natural history specimens, over 1,000 geological specimens, about 3,000 archaeological artefacts, 15,000 photographs and a large number of books, pamphlets and documents.

All of these items belong to the people of Oldham, who are free to come and view their collections. Gallery Oldham’s job is to make sure these items are stored safely and that they are accessible.

At Gallery Oldham we had refreshment with handmade very delicious Cakes.

After refreshment we went back to Hotel, for preparing ourselves for Fun..:)…with dinner.

Pin Bowling and Dinner at Nandos:

It was the first time I have ever played a Pin Bowling…and secured 2nd Position in my team, it was really a fun to learn how to play a Pin Bowling. After that we went to Nando’s for Dinner and then back to hotel at 11:00pm.

Briefing Session at University Campus Oldham

At Manchester Air Port

Mr. Rashid Mehmood Khan, At Manchester Airport

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