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Corrie's Ashley stars in new play to breathe life into quiet city centre premises in Oldham

Steven Arnold (Ashley Peacock Coronation Street) Credit: PA

The actor who used to play Ashley Peacock in Coronation Street is starring a new play which it's hoped could breathe new life into Oldham Town Centre. It's called Thick as Thieves and opens in an empty shop that used to sell prams. It's part of a project which is aimed at bringing new businesses and consumers back into the town.

Mark Whiteley’s comedy is about two career criminals Steven Arnold who plays Steph ‘the Earl’ Aston, the hard and organised burglar with ambitions of building his own crew in the North West and another Coronation Street favourite, Jonny Dixon, who plays ‘nice but dim’ Barry Ireland. His character has a girlfriend, two kids and a maisonette to support and is struggling to go straight after leaving prison. When the pair decide to turn their hands to housebreaking it has hilarious consequences as they discover a life of crime isn't all it's cracked up to be. It takes place in an ex pram shop in Mumps (renamed ReTale for the show). It only has 45 seats a night and opens on September 23.

It is part of Oldham Council’s ‘Independent Quarter Project’ which aims to bring both businesses and consumers back to the High Street. The company behind it Hard Graft is committed to producing work in unique and unusual venues as a means to excite and engage new theatre audiences.


Bride Olivia adds a special touch to her wedding "neigh"

Olivia, riding horse Max accompanied by groom, Christian alongside. Credit: Manchester Evening News

Most brides dream of being taken to their wedding in a luxury car but not Olivia Sunderland who used her horse to get her to the church on time.

Resplendent in a beautiful flowing white dress, Olivia rode the half-mile to the church on Max, her family's horse, to make for a unique entrance for her wedding to Christian Nield.

Olivia, 25, said: "I always wanted my horse Max to be part of the day. He has been a big part of my life for 13 years and it was important to me for him to be included.

"He is a family horse and my dad Chris helped to get him ready in the morning, putting a blanket on him so I wouldn't ruin my dress."

Olivia, who works at a jewellers, rode Max from her mother's home in the village of Greenfield, Saddleworth near Oldham to Christ Church, Friezland, for the ceremony.

She was then joined by her new husband, a risk management consultant, and their dog Bella for a walk to the marquee reception down the road.

The service was watched by 100 guests packed into the small village church with the happy couple showered with confetti before moving on to food, speeches and a celebration toast.

Olivia added: "It really was the most amazing day and I was glad all the pets could be part of it.

"I couldn¹t have asked for anything more."

Christian, 30, added: "Lots of people were driving past taking pictures - it's not something you see everyday.

"Luckily, it had been raining all day but the weather held off for a two-hour period at exactly the right time."

Bride Olivia heading to church, with the help of Max. Credit: Manchester Evening News


Police investigating death of baby boy in Oldham

Police in Oldham are investigating the death of a baby boy in the town.

Police say they were called to Lychgate Court, Oldham around 5.20 am on Friday morning.

The North West Ambulance Service called police after a baby boy, who was less than three weeks old, was found unresponsive.

The baby was taken to Royal Oldham Hospital but died a short time later.

A Home Office post-mortem examination was carried out but the cause of death remains unknown. Police said further inquiries will be made out on behalf of HM Coroner to establish the exact cause of the baby boy's death.

A 55-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of causing a death to a child by overlaying, and has been bailed until 26 September 2014 pending further inquiries.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.

Vandals desecrate ten Muslim graves in Chadderton

Vandals have desecrated a number of Muslim graves in the Chadderton Cemetery in Chadderton.

The graves were targeted sometime between 8.30pm on 15 August 2014 and 7.30pm the following day.

Police were called to the cemetery by the distraught loved one of a woman buried within the Muslim section of the cemetery.

Officers attended and found up to 10 graves had been damaged, and as no other graves other than those in the Muslim section had been targeted, police are treating the vandalism as racially motivated.

Wooden grave markers and headstones were uprooted from four adjoining graves, one of which had a brass plaque ripped from the headstone itself.

Police are now appealing to anyone who has information about the vandalism to come forward.

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Woman arrested following death of newborn baby

A woman has been arrested following the death of a baby described as "barely three weeks old".

The baby was found unresponsive at Lychgate Court, Oldham. Credit: Google Maps

The 55-year-old has been held on suspicion of causing death to a child by overlaying - when a baby is suspected to have suffocated when somebody lies on them while in bed.

The baby was found unresponsive by officers at an address at Lychgate Court, Oldham.

The infant was transferred to Royal Oldham Hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.

The arrested woman - who is believed to be related to the child - is continuing to be questioned by police.

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