Most of us will never question why certain places got their names, especially not when we’ve grown up near them.
But when comedian and TV presenter Richard Osman tweeted about Oldham Mumps tram stop, it got a lot of people wondering where the name originally came from.
As many locals will know, the stop gets its name from the Oldham Mumps railway station, which was located slightly south of the tram stop.
The station opened in 1847, and was named after its location within the Mumps area of the town, a name many believe derrives from the word “mumper” – a 17th century term for a beggar.
Oldham received its first railway connection five years earlier, when the Manchester and Leeds Railway constructed a branch line to Oldham Werneth station.
Opened in March 1842, the line ran to the town from a junction at Middleton. However, Werneth’s inconvenient location at the edge of the town centre soon prompted a line extension, creating the need for Oldham Mumps to join the Oldham Loop line between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale.
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The main station building was rebuilt by British Railways in 1957, before being demolished in the 1990s – leaving the facilities on the main island platform.
When the line was converted to Metrolink in 2009, the station was closed for good.
Although the station was demolished in 2010, the original canopy was bought by the East Lancashire Railway after a £50,000 fundraising campaign.
The original canopy was restored before being installed at the Bury Bolton Road station, preserving a piece of the Oldham-Rochdale line’s history.
In 2012, the station regained some use as a temporary tram stop whilst preperations were made to create the permanent site used today.
The current Oldham Mumps tram stop was opened in January 2014.