New road to be named after pioneering female doctor – Oldham Council

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A new road at the heart of a key regeneration project will be named Olive Claydon Way – in honour of Oldham’s first female GP. 

The road is being built at Hollinwood Junction where Oldham Council and its development partners Langtree are redeveloping a 30-acre site just off Junction 22 of the M60. 

Vice-president of the Oldham Society for Women’s Suffrage, Dr Olive Claydon leaves a lasting legacy in the borough. 

She campaigned not only for the rights of women but also worked hard to improve the lives of impoverished mothers and their babies. 

Oldham Council is dedicating the road to Olive to ensure that her name lives on for future generations. 

Cllr Arooj Shah, Oldham Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform, said: “Hollinwood Junction is a really exciting project which will create much-needed jobs, opportunities, homes and investment in Oldham. 

“Olive Claydon Way is a fitting tribute to a fantastic local woman who for far too long has gone under the radar.  

“The pandemic has made us all realise the importance of our amazing NHS and healthcare workers, and the difference we can all make by helping others. Olive dedicated her life to this and we’re really proud to call her an Oldhamer and put her name on the map.” 

Hollinwood Junction will create 760 jobs and incorporate retail, leisure, employment and up to 150 family homes. 

Olive Claydon Way will run through the latest phase of the development which includes a new drive-thru Costa Coffee at the site’s first development plot as well as commercial and employment space. 

Olive Claydon Way is expected to open to traffic later this Autumn, ahead of Costa opening in the new year. 

Hollinwood Junction is a £35m regeneration project to bring forward the development of council owned land at the gateway to the M60 motorway and the A62 Oldham to Manchester Road. It will include up to 150,000 square feet of high-quality employment/commercial space. 

A Euro Garages development on the former Roxy Cinema site is already open and a redundant gas holder that has blighted the area for a number of years, has now been demolished, enabling the latest phase to proceed. 

The former Kaskenmoor School site is also included within the development area, enabling the creation of 150 two, three and four-bedroom homes which will meet the housing needs of the local community. 

To find out more about Hollinwood Junction visit www.hollinwoodjunction.co.uk  

About Dr Olive Claydon 

Academic and a talented musician, Olive left her home in Oldham to study at the London University School of Medicine where she specialised in obstetrics. After completing her degree, she gained experience across the country.  

She then gained an MD from the London Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine for Women and moved back to Oldham to become the town’s first female GP.  

In 1910 she helped to launch Oldham Women’s Suffrage Society while working as a doctor from her home at 29 Belgrave Road.  

Over the next six years she continued to play a pivotal role in the rights of women in our town. From her debating skills with the society to campaigning for maternity centres and health visitors. 

Sadly, Olive died from a heart condition aged just 40 in 1916. Her family donated her home to be converted into a nursery and place for convalescent children and her legacy continued with public health laws coming into effect in the following years thanks to her fight for positive change.  

Her former home, Olive Claydon House, is still in the town. Her family name also lives on via Oldham’s Wrigley Claydon Solicitors, after her father joined the firm when she was a child. 

Following her death, Oldham Women’s Suffrage Society paid tribute to Olive at their 1916 AGM, saying: “To those who had the privilege of knowing her intimately it always seemed that she was able to accomplish anything for the many good causes to which she so generously gave herself. Her loss is a real one to the town, and a grief to a wide circle of friends, for she had, ‘the art of being kind’.” 

Olive Claydon Way is the second new road to be named after an Oldham suffragist. Earlier this year Lydia Becker Way opened at the Broadway Green regeneration site and a statue of suffragette Annie Kenney was unveiled in 2018 outside the flagship Old Town Hall development. 

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