Ageing equally: what makes a good place in which to grow older?

Researchers at The University of Manchester have collaborated with Oldham Coliseum to explore how the experiences of women aged over 50 can help to map out what makes a good place in which to grow old.

The project involved a group of women aged 50 and over who attend the Glodwick Luncheon Club at the Oldham Pakistani Community Centre who attended trips to venues such as the Whitworth Art Gallery and workshops held by artists including Najma Khalid and Robina Ullah to explore the themes of ageing, home and place through textiles.

This collaboration has culminated in a performance and exhibition called Place, Textiles and Generation: From Pakistan to Oldham, which will take place on 10 October from 2pm-3pm. The event is free to attend and addresses how women in this demographic want to engage more in their community, but find it difficult due to barriers such as language or shared accommodation infrastructure.

By using material culture and practices such as embroidery, many of these women (most of whom are first-generation migrants) have created a sense of home for themselves, with the textile industry bringing many of those of Pakistani origin to Oldham decades ago. The signifiers of textiles and their sense of home to this community is examined at this event, as is how Oldham is a good place to grow old, and how it could be better.

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