In June 1893, a meeting was attended by several prominent Oldham figures of the day, and as a result of it the Oldham Poor Children's Holiday Association came into being. Its aim was to assist "necessitous children" within the County Borough, by providing them with the money to enable them to have a holiday.
On 20th May 1895, a country cottage on the Corporation estate at Castleshaw was leased, furnished and staffed by the association so that the proor and delicate Oldham Children might stay there for two to three weeks at a time. It could accommodate eight or ten children at once and, from June to October 1895, eighty eight children went there.
"They were anxious that it should be the work of all parties, without any distinction of politics or religion"
The authors of the 1896 annual report concluded that:
" the pure moorland air, and plenty of plain wholesome food, carefully cooked, may have worked such wonders even in a fortnight, that children whose life had been suspended by very slender threads, may have been given a further lease of healthy and happy existence. At any rate, the fortnight, in several cases, had made pallid cheeks rosy and plum."
Over subsequent years, the building was extended to enable a greater number of children to benefit. Heating was also installed to allow stays over the winter period.
Winston Churchill was a donor to the Oldham Poor Children's Holiday Association during his tenure as MP for Oldham from 1901-1904, as can be seen from receipts published in the Churchill Papers.