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New road to be named after pioneering female doctor

Thursday, September 16th, 2021 3:12pm

By Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter @CharGreenLDR

Olive Claydon.

A new road at the heart of an Oldham regeneration project is to be named after the borough's first female GP.

The road, at Hollinwood Junction, is to be called Olive Claydon Way in honour of her pioneering work in medicine and women’s rights which has left a lasting legacy.

Initially specialising in obstetrics, Dr Olive Claydon 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 and served as vice-president.

Over the six years until her death in 1916 she campaigned for maternity centres and health visitors, as well as debating women’s rights within the society.

Following her untimely death at just 40-years-old, 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’.”

The new road being named after her is part of a 30 acre site off Junction 22 of the M60 which is being redeveloped through a partnership between Oldham council and Langtree.


An aerial view of Hollinwood Junction

Oldham council leader Arooj Shah 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.


A CGI of the new Costa drive-thru

The road 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 and commercial space.

Olive Claydon Way is the second new road to be named after an Oldham suffragist.

Earlier this year Lydia Becker Way opened at the nearby Broadway Green regeneration site in the Foxdenton area of Chadderton.

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