One strangeness about the Labour List review of the prospective runners for the candidacy was that only one female candidate was mentioned. Early doors Maryam Khan who stood in David Chayter's patch in May had been mentioned, but a daughter-dad run off was never really on the cards. And so only the fanciful speculation about our own Lucy Powell remained.
Now Ed Miliband's chief of staff, Lucy Powell's name has often been mentioned in connection with the seat, but really? Why would she? Categorically NO is the word from sources extremely adjacent to Ms Powell.
With Elwyn for the Yellow Tories and Kashif Ali for the Blue Tories this could all be a bit of a testosterone fuelled male affair. There was talk for some good while - emanating from Tory members who think themselves very much in the loop - of a celebrity woman candidate (Kirstie Allsopp) for the Blues, but that story did not develop legs, possibly because Manchester Tories were tipped off (by moi) and took robust evasive action.
So just three wise men is it, this Christmas tide?
But what's this? Step forward Gwenda Manco, born in Oldham, decades in Labour in the area, social enterprise founder (working with vulnerable women in Rochdale and Oldham), aged 56, two grown up sons, hubbie retired from a successful local haulage business, and ten years working in Styal women's prison.
Proper salt of the earth local woman, contributing immensely but quietly to the community, with some strong local champions.
Gwenda runs a hand spinning business, very appropriate indeed for the area with its dark satanic mills textile heritage, and currently also works as an Associate Priest, working in the community mostly, based at St James' Church, Calderbrook. In fact it was Chaplain she was at Styal.
Is there another cleric in the House? Now Paisley's gone?
If Labour want someone on the shortlist and possibly even as a candidate - though there would be a mountain to climb to shift Afzal, favourite of the powers that be in Oldham I understand and a brilliant MP in the making, then a throughly local, textiles business, woman priest could be just the ticket.