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Something's up: can you hear #OldhamCalling?

Apparently hope came to Oldham in 1962 and left a week later. Also, at some point in this great borough, Miss World was in a Cauldron and there was an elephant up on the moors.

These and further revelations are being shared by a mysterious online phenomenon called the Institute of Public Information (@IofPI) which is broadcasting out across a range of social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) under a number intriguing hashtags: #OldhamCalling, #BraveNewOldham and #BeautifulOldham.

On the main, portal site that sends you scurrying off down these myriad routes to find pinned photos, manic YouTube clips and Tweeted recollections, there is no 'about' information pane, no obligatory local authority press release; not even a logo soup revealing a <powerful and cross-sectoral> funding partnership. So what's going on?

The Twitter stream has clearly started to provoke recollections and 'Oldham firsts' that call to mind a possible place branding campaign:

Diane Warburton
Platt Bros. of Oldham, once the world's leading manufacturer of textile machinery.
Go to MOSI to see original machinery.

#OLDHAMCALLING-18 · 20 hours ago

Margaret Woods
I've heard that the machines that read or count money were developed and are made in Oldham and used all over the...
#OLDHAMCALLING-18 · 21 hours ago

Lyn Fenton
That was then and it didn't happen, there is a new Brave New Oldham that is beginning to emerge now, it is one that...
#BRAVENEWOLDHAM · 22 hours ago

Meanwhile a series of broadcasts on the Institute's YouTube channel call to mind a strange fusion of Monty Python, the Mighty Boosh and the epically wondrous parallel universe of Scarfolk.

People are already starting to 'repin' and 'pin' Oldham recollections to the Pinterest channel and the famous links with Ferranti technologies around the turn of the 19th Century are a recurrent theme.

There's also a physical installation in the form of two shipping containers and a whole load of filming going on, apparently.

Place propaganda? Cultural re-programming? Jolly japes with a pith helmet and a megaphone? No idea but I assume we'll all find out if we all stay tuned to IofPI.