John Platt, born in Dobcross in 1817, was three times Mayor of Oldham and represented Oldham in Parliament from 1865 until his death 18 May 1872 at the age of 55.
Whilst still in his twenties he took a lively interest in his native town and was the spearhead in the fight for the Charter of Incorporation and in the local agitation for Repeal of the Corn Laws. He was an enthusiastic encourager of technical education in the town and a vigorous promoter of new railways at a time when certain local magistrates were obstructing them.
John Platt was an admirable example of the old type factory owner, the factory long known as Platt Bros. manufacturers of textile machinery, passed solely into his hands when his brother James died as a result of a shooting accident in 1857.
A bronze statue to his memory was erected 14 Sep 1878 in Oldham in the vicinity of the Town Hall near the Market Place, paid for by Public subscription.
The bronze statue of John Platt by Sculptor David Watson Stevenson together with the circular pedestal, the work of McDonald and Field of Aberdeen both sit on a rectangular stone structured base flanked by four symbolic seated females representing Engineering, Manufacturing, Science and Art.
However, the passing of the years dimmed his name and obscured his record such that his statue was relegated to Alexandra Park in October 1924, during redevelopment of the town centre.
The first postcard below shows John Platts Statue in Alexandra Park, whilst the following four postcards show the earlier position in the vicinity the Town Hall.
Photograph taken 6 Sep 2007.
John Platts Bronze Statue, complete with circular pedestal upon a rectangular stone base flanked by four symbolic seated female figures representing, Engineering, Manufacturing, Science and Art.
The two figures visible are probably Engineering (left) & Art (right), this latter figure clearly having lost her Lyre shown below in one of the postcards.
Photograph taken 10 Sep 2007.
Pedestal of John Platts Statue clearly showing the inscription "John Platt MP" and "Erected 1878" (the date it was first erected in the vicinity of the town hall.)
Postcard by Lilliwhite Ltd., Triangle, Yorks.
Number Odm 77.
Unposted, not written on..
Postcard by Publisher unknown.
Posted 1 Aug 1910 to Miss L Rowley in Blackpool.
Message reads, Dear Lizzie.
Thanking you for P.C. it is a very good one hope you are enjoying yourselves I am I have been in the cotton mills today and have enjoyed it all our people have gone to Blackpool today
with love Mary.
Postcard by F. G. Pollard, Oldham.
Posted 24 Sep 1907 to Miss Tetlow in Newton Heath. Manchester.
Hope you are not too tired after your walk
Can you meet me next Thursday night usual time usual place. Weather permitting.
Let me know Berthias
Postcard by "Ja-Ja" registered trade mark
Unposted but written on
Heres to the Bird. That flies so high
May it never lose a feather
For the man that marries a Factory lass
Will never die a beggar
Mr & Mrs A H Cash
A point of interest regarding the following postcard and a reason for its inclusion is the postal date of 28 Feb 1902 being the earliest of an Oldham picture postcard in my collection, or of which I know.
Maybe if anyone has an earlier one, which will almost certainly be the case, perhaps they could advise.
Postcard by Unknown Publisher
Posted 28 Feb 1902 to Mr Duglas Jenkins in Birmingham
Message and picture on undivided back reads,
My Dear Duglas.
Here is a view of Oldham Town Hall and Statue of Dr. Platt Great Engineer.
Diverting attention away from John platt Statue postcards but connected slightly with and of equal
interest to the postcard above, could be the following non picture Oldham postcard or trade card
as they were known, which is the earliest of its kind in my collection, posted 13 May 1872.
Postcard by Unknown Publisher
Posted 13 May 1872 to Bentham Mills Spinning Company in Bentham nr Lancaster.
Message on undivided back reads,
Please to send a sample of the new hose
as soon as it is ready.
May 13 72
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