Central Oldham is a building site and has been for months They're laying down the tracks and infrastructure for the trams which will arrive in 2013 or 2014- the date keeps getting pushed back- and you never know ahead of time which roads are going to be open. We were going to the library- and while we were there we took a quick spin round the art gallery. One of the permanent exhibits is a photographic panorama of the town as it was in 1876. The town was a building site then as well and the railway warehouse that got demolished last month was nothing but foundations and four or five courses of brick. There are several temporary exhibitions; the one that interested me most was The Oldham Road- Second View by Charlie Meecham. Oldham Road is the arterial road- some seven or eight miles long- linking Oldham and Manchester. Meecham first photographed it the 80s- and I caught his first exhibition at the Manchester Cornerhouse in '87. Now he's been back and the new exhibition- as much sociology as art- has photos from then and now. This excellent essay by Steve Hanson (also available at the gallery as an illustrated leaflet) draws out the implications.