Oak Cottage was the home to James Miller, alias "Ewan MacColl".
Ewan MacColl (25 January 1915 - 22 October 1989) was a British folk singer, songwriter, socialist, actor, poet, playwright, and record producer. He was a dominant figure in the post-war British folk revival but during the 1930s and 1940s was involved in staging events and concerts that supported his keenly-held Communist views. A watch was kept on him by MI5 and police mounted a 'discreet supervision' of Oak Cottage in Higham Lane, Hyde, where he was living, and reports of activities and visitors are on the file. He is best remembered for his song "First time ever I saw your face" for which he won a Grammy award and "Dirty Old Town" which was made famous by the Dubliners. He was the father of singer Kirsty MacColl.