The Ace – Fitton Hill Oldham

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Fircroft Road, Oldham OL8 2QD

Playing for the high one, dancing with the devil,
Going with the flow, it’s all a game to me,
Seven or Eleven, snake eyes watching you,
Double up or quit, double stake or split,
The Ace Of Spades

Subsequently curtly shortened to – The Ace.

Lying two miles south of Oldham town centre, the Fitton Hill Estate was built during the Fifties and Sixties on previously undeveloped moorland with scattered hamlets and farmsteads.

The layout of the estate obliterated all traces of the old landscape.

Wind whips the streets above the Lancashire Plain – swirling down and around the high hills above the city below. It was once an area rich on the pickings of cotton and coal, regular work and pockets almost full of cash, slipping carelessly into the landlords’ tills

Oldham has suffered the fate of many of Manchester’s satellite towns, their energies and opportunities absorbed by the centre of the voracious city centre, as attempts to invest and regenerate flounder on the swelling tide of decline.

The Ace all high angles and Anglo Saxons continues to fight on, serving larger than life sports TV, lager and lounge music to the locals.

There are two handpumps on the bar, but according to the landlord, they tried selling real ale for a while, but it didn’t sell and they had to throw it away.

Pushing up the ante, I know you wanna see me
Read ’em and weep, the dead man’s hand again
I see it in your eyes, take one look and die
The only thing you see, you know it’s gonna be
The Ace Of Spades, The Ace Of Spades

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Primrose View – Oldham

Primrose View, 25-27 Ashton Rd, Oldham OL8 1JX

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Once there was an OB brewery here, OB – OK?

Fine Lancashire Ales, bought out by Boddington’s.

Closed down by Boddington’s.

Boddington’s was bought out by Interbrew.

Beer can and will eat itself – Boddies the Cream of Manchester, the transubstantiation of Monopoly Capitalism, it rises to the top, as another local brewery and its pubs sink.

Almost without trace.

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A poor do in the poorest of towns, the view was never primrose.

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The blanked, bricked and tinned windows, have a more than somewhat restricted view of an uncertain future, demolition or redevelopment, planning applied for 2014.

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Another new flue, that never arrived.

The Red Rose – Holts Oldham

Lees New Road, Holts Village, Oldham OL4 5PL

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On the outer edges of Greater Manchester, sits Holts Estate.

Mixing sixties social housing, with hard won and worn moorland, the air feels different up here.

Everything feels different up here.

Remote from time, a pre-industrial landscape merged with the earliest speculative coal mining, mill working and subsistence farming, on a slag and shale scarred, scrub grass croft.

Once there was a pub – The Red Rose.

Now there isn’t – just another convenience store in another town.

With the extra added attraction of a take-away, to take away your will to live.

A typical two storey brick and tile building, with extended lower level additions.

A timber smoking area, backs on to stone cladding – tagged by the HEC.

Sadly for the Holts Estate Crew, there will be no turf war.

Out here you are your own worst enemy.

Nobody knew you were there.