Documents relating to the November 1937 local council elections in Bolton.
Mass Observation worked with the Labour Party in Bolton during the January 1938 Farnworth by-election. They were interested in learning how propaganda could influence people’s opinions. Mass Observation later used this knowledge to help the Ministry of Information develop propaganda during World War 2.
We think that this observation of an open air election meeting at Burton’s Works on Wednesday 26 January matches these photographs taken by Humphrey Spender. The observation was written by Walter Hood who worked for the Labour party during the election. He mentions Spender (HS) arriving at the meeting.
Humphrey Spender photographed Bolton’s apprentices on strike in Queen’s Park. They joined a national strike of apprentices on 21 September 1937.
One of the most memorable sequences of photographs in the Worktown Archive is of the funeral of John Shaw of Davenport Street. Humphrey Spender followed his cortege from his home to Heaton Cemetery. The funeral was also recorded in this written observation by Brian Barefoot.
Humphrey Spender photographed foundation stones and construction work on St Chad’s Church. This written observation describes the consecration of the church on 23 July.
Humphrey Spender wrote an amusing observation describing his encounter with lady canvassers at the Conservative Club during the Farnworth by-election. Can you match people in the photographs to his descriptions?
Humphrey Spender wrote an account of his confrontation with the landlord of the Saddle Hotel on 22 January 1938. The landlord was upset when he spotted Spender taking photographs and insisted on calling a policeman.
The steps of Bolton’s Town Hall were used for speeches by religious and political groups. This 2 page observation from 1 May 1938 explains the unofficial rules of the steps.
The first time Humphrey Spender’s photographs of Bolton were printed was in the March 1938 edition of The Citizen. This was the Labour Party’s newsletter in the local area. Captions are used with the photographs to lampoon the local Conservative party. Political parties have continued to use photography in this way like the 1979 Conservative […]